October 2015 Newsletter from Haiti Micah Project
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October 2015

Fast Friends: Connecting with the HMP Children

By Lauren Grubbs

When I travelled to Haiti, I thought I would spend a few months objectively learning about economic development and poverty.  What I walked away with was much more valuable: a connection with these kids that will shape my outlook on not only development and poverty, but the world for years to come. 

I have never been one of those people who is at ease in a group of kids.  I babysat exactly once outside my family and, to my delight, was not invited back. I was wary when my supervisor at Chemen Lavi Miyo, a division at Fonkoze for rural women in the Mirebalais area, suggested I go next door and meet the kids at the SAES house, but I am so thankful he did. The day I went next door was the day I met my closest friends in Haiti. 

They were all excited to meet the newest visiting blan so I awkwardly took a seat they offered and tried out my six words of kreyol.  I was surprised many of the children spoke some of the best English I heard in Haiti.  Joseph Emmanuel (pictured next to me between Roseleine and Kerventz) is nearly fluent, and he would cheerfully translate for me as I tried to talk with the others who had huddled around us. Emmanuel (Manno), eager to display his English and affection for America, recited Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech to me that first day. It was the first of many times these kids would blow me away over the next few months. 

Before long, the SAES house became my refuge after a long day of visiting impoverished women in the rural communities surrounding Mirebalais.  

Roseleine is a born leader.  She may only be 14, but she has a lively and strong personality that makes her the deciding voice and center of any activity.  She also loves to dance.  Once she showed me about 20 different dance moves and even tried to teach me a few, though she soon learned how futile a pursuit that was. She had much better luck teaching me Haitian songs and games. Only she was capable of organizing all the smaller children in a circle or some other formation for the game and then enforcing the rules once it was underway.  Without her, many of our attempts at activities would have devolved into chaos. She proudly told me she wants to be a lawyer and if given the opportunity I know she could excel in that profession.

Kerventz, little brother of Roseleine, is exceedingly bright for an 11 year old. I taught the kids a couple of card games: Egyptian Ratscrew (ERS), Crazy Eights, Go Fish (poisson), and BS (they pronounced it bigness and it became a new word for us to use when we thought someone was lying). For those of you who have never played ERS it is a very difficult game that requires a quick reaction time and keeping in mind about 15 different rules at once. Just when I thought maybe this game wasn’t the best to try to teach, it clicked for Kerventz and he started helping the other children understand. I am very proud of my ERS skills, but by the second week Kervetnz was not only a competitor, but even beating me! 

Jessica (pictured left goofing for the camera) loves Alicia Keys.  One of the first things she asked me was if I knew any of her songs. Her favorite is “Girl on Fire” and after I downloaded it on my phone, that song would play on loop in the background for many visits. Jessica is one of the older kids, at 15, and often acted like an unofficial big sister to many of the other kids.  She would help do their hair (even painstakingly braided all of my hair) and be the one they consulted to settle an argument. She was also the best at knitting and made cute little purses with flowers on them that she gave the younger kids and visitors like me.  Her nurturing personality and that of the other older kids make the SAES House a family.

Joselene (right) loves painting her nails. She is only about 7 years old so her nails are tiny, but she would paint them with bright colors and designs, then decide they weren’t quite perfect so she would take it off and start over.  She loved any kind of craft so one time I brought some colored string and she promptly went to work on all kinds of designs and color combinations.  By the end of one day she had about ten lined up on her little wrist.  Just like all the kids I met at the SAES house, she was generous with whatever she had and affectionate towards me even though all I did most of the time was just sit there and not understand what she was saying.  A yawn in Haiti is interpreted as you being hungry and if I ever yawned they would ask if I had eaten then offer me some of their leftovers.

Studying about economic development and poverty could never have given me the same kind of understanding as these kids did in my few months with them. They have so much to offer and these examples are only a handful of what they showed me. Whether it be leadership, intelligence, creativity, generosity or passion, these kids have it in spades and I am so thankful they will be fostered and able to grow with the care and support of Haiti Micah Project.  


Yard Sale for Haiti!

Recently, Annabelle O’Bryan, a 14-year-old 8th grader from Alexandria, VA set out to host a yard sale with all the donations going to the Haiti Micah Project.  She invited friends to help and made posters and flyers to hand out.  The photo shows Annabelle on the right and her friend Jenna Collins on the left at the yard sale.  Annabelle did not set any prices on items, encouraging people to donate whatever they could for yard sale items.  Telling people about the good work of HMP inspired donations from people who did not even want to buy anything.  About 50 people learned about HMP and took flyers.  In the end, they collected $250 dollars, which will be used to care for 8 HMP children for a month.  Great work Annabelle!

A Light Lost: In Memoriam for Mackenzy Jeudy

It is with great sadness that Haiti Micah Project shares the recent death of Mackenzy Jeudy. We wish to express our condolences to his family, friends, and all those who have been a part of his life at Haiti Micah Project.  Mackenzy was born January 13, 2000 and attended Lycée National School.  He was among the first children to enter the Haiti Micah Project ‘s Feeding and Education Program. His death was due to cancer, which was only diagnosed at a late stage.  He is survived by his parents and his brother,  James Estavil.  Mackenzy has been supported by sponsors at Immanuel-on-the-Hill.   

"Jesus said, Let the little children come to me . . ." Matthew 19:14. We mourn the loss of Mackenzy's light in our lives, but know we will be reunited one day.

Sponsor A Child

Thank you, Sponsors, for your continued generosity to our Sponsor a Child Program. Through the last ten years you have made life-saving food, clothing, and educational opportunities available to the hundreds of children who come each day needing help.

With multiple global crises, wars, and conflicts, and more recently the focus on Ebola control, you keep our children in the forefront of your thoughts, prayers, and generosity.

As Emmanuel, one of the sponsored children writes,

“I appreciate very sincerely, your immense support and assistance you give to that nice program. . . . I do not find the right word[s] to express my gratitude to you.  Your kindness makes me feel the goodness of your heart, your charity, your great generosity.  I am so glad and proud to have you in my life.  You are very special for me and know that I always think of you and pray for you everyday.  I thank you for all that you do and what you will go on doing for me.  I thank you from all my deepest heart.  God will bless you for your perfect devotion. “

For more information on donating and sponsorship, go to our website at  

We're celebrating our 10th anniversary with the $10 for 10 Campaign, where you can set up 10recurring payments of $10 each to go toward feeding children in our program. More than 400 children of all ages in Mirebalais join us each day for a hot, nutritious meal. We started providing meals for 150 children in 2005, and the need continues to grow. Find out more about the campaign and how to give here.

It's that time: Combined Federal Campaign!

Since 2008, HMP has been proud to take part in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). The CFC is the largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign in the world. It consists of hundreds of local campaigns throughout the United States and overseas, and raises millions of dollars each year. Pledges made by Federal civilian, postal and military donors are collected through direct payroll deduction. These funds support eligible non-profit organizations that provide health and human service benefits throughout the world.

For how to donate, check out our CFC page

HMP Haiti Updates

If you would like to learn even more about what is happening in Haiti, go to our HMP Twitter feed where you will find daily updates from Haitian, US and international media.  

Recent stories include:

Getting a Second Chance--A young Haitian girl gets life-saving surgery from doctors in Miami.

Tourism and Haiti? Yes please!--Travel Weekly explores why tourism in Haiti is coming back and how, amid crises and reconstruction, Haiti has so much to offer.

Copyright © 2015 Haiti Micah Project, All rights reserved.

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