Letters from students

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.”