When students come to us for support, they usually bring a written letter. We have hundreds of them. Here is a sample of the unsolicited letters we have received. The letters were originally written mostly in Kreyol, some in French:
Marie-Rose: “I was at school in Port-au-Prince when the earthquake passed. An uncle was paying for me because my mother and father are dead. My uncle was killed and I am back in Sen Rafayel. I was in Rheto (second last year of high school) when everything stopped”.
Mirlène: “I’m asking because I don’t have a mother or a father – they’re both dead for a long time. I love school and want to continue. Someone (“yon moun”) was paying for me but stopped (“abandone”) and I can’t get my report card. I wait for your reply, in tears (“M’ap tande kriye”)”.
Vermer: “I’m writing you because I find myself in a difficult situation. My mother has been mentally ill for 3 years (“twa zan fol”). My father is handicapped. I have a good friend who secured a bursary for me last year. I know you have a good heart and will not let me waste away (“peri”)”.
Jesumène: “My father has been dead since I was 11. My mother has had great difficulty paying for me and there is no possibility I can continue. I would enter 9eme in September. I promise you you will not regret helping me”.
Ducadin: “My mother had a stroke and she’s handicapped. After many months of suffering my dad died (LI VIN RIVE MOURI – literally he came to arrive at death). I feel my life is finished because I can’t go to school”.
Angelène: “I am orphaned of father (…) my mother does not have the means to help me continue studies. Help me become a useful woman in society (une femme utile a la societe).
Emanise: ” My father has no work and my mother is sick. I have 4 brothers – they are all going to school. I’m asking if you can help me – I’m counting on you” (note: it is not unusual that family members would help send the boys to school and not the girl).
Paudeline: “My mother died when I was 7. My father fights with/ or beats me. Please consider me – I’m capable if given a little chance.” (note: she is now living in Cap-Haitien with an aunt, her father remains in Sen Rafayel).
Myriame: “I saw life end for me after I saw the catastrophe of Jan 12 (earthquake) which happened in front of me in Port-au-Prince (Potoprens). By chance I did not die, but the ones looking after me did so it seems my life is over. I was born in a poor family – it’s misery which lives there.”