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Celebrating Childhood Health and Literacy, at Home and Abroad

Celebrating Childhood Health and Literacy, at Home and Abroad

On Sunday, October 14, the Chika Fund at the Have Faith Haiti Mission, along with SAY Detroit Play Center’s literacy programming, were recipients of fundraised at the benefit launch for Mitch Albom’s latest book, The Next Person You Meet in Heaven. Babu, currently residing in Detroit while receiving medical care, was on stage to welcome guests, and we saw some special reading by Junie-Anna on screen, too!

Catch up on special clips from the night at this playlist:

The Chika Fund, and with the generosity and innovation of Beaumont Hospital, has made Knox’s occupational therapy possible. A head injury when he was a year old resulted in stroke-like physical symptoms.

Lokomat Walking Therapy has vastly improved his range of motion. Just look at him jumping rope!

We’re also thrilled to introduce the first edition of the Have Faith Haiti Times. This student-run newspaper is written and produced in Haiti at the mission by the all-student editorial staff of JJ and Chivensky. The editorial staff elicits the help of students from every class to assist in writing stories after brainstorming topics they want covered. Before every edition is written, the editorial staff first meets to brainstorm which stories they will cover.  The students use skills they have learned during composition and grammar classes to compile interesting articles detailing life at the mission. The editorial staff chose the name, “Have Faith Daily Times” because on a daily basis, we choose to have faith in all that we do. We hope that through the newspaper, we can share how faith drives life here and how it’s exhibited at the Mission. We will use the newspaper as a special way to update our sponsors about what we are doing, so active sponsors be on the lookout for the second edition of our newspaper on November 5th!

Click here to read the first issue!

It’s Commencement In More Ways Than One

It’s Commencement In More Ways Than One

“Pomp and Circumstance” filled the courtyard as our middle school graduates filed down the stairs for their graduation on September 15th. The day marked an important milestone for the Have Faith Haiti Bilingual School, as these graduates will be starting the first ever high school class at the school!

It’s a testament to School Director Cara Nesser and the teach staff for how far these students have come. Many of these students did not speak English when the school opened, and they are now excelling in both French and English.

In a philosophy class earlier this year, Collѐge 1 students (the second highest academic tier until the new high school course level, known as secondary school in Haiti) explored the notion of success. They were not given any assistance or requirements other than to be detailed in their rationale in explaining what it means to be successful.

These impressive compositions from Djouna and Widley are just a taste of the level of work these eager students are producing.

Djouna’s Essay:

Today, I’m going to tell you what makes someone successful. To be successful, you need to have three things. You need to have love, education and money. If you have these three things, you’re successful. In the end, you’ll see how these three things are related. Everyone can be successful in more than one way, but for me, to be successful you need love, education, and money. If you hope to be successful, you have to follow those three things.
First of all, to be successful, you need to have love. Even if you’re not educated or you don’t have money, you have to know what love is. Even if you’re not educated or you don’t have money, you have to know what love is. If you don’t have love, people will not see you as a good person. They will see you as a person that treats people badly, but if you have love, people will show their love in return. If you have something that another person doesn’t have and it was the only thing that you had, and you chose to give it to that person, you’re showing love. Probably one day when you don’t have anything, the person that you showed love to will show their love in return.
To be successful, the second thing that you need to have is education. To earn money, you need to have education. Education is really important. If you want to have money or if you want to get a job, you have to be educated. If you didn’t go to school since you were little, you can’t ask for a job, because they’re going to give you a test. If you did not go to school, how will you be able to pass that test? So far, do you see how love and education are related? To have education you need to have love, because love is the greatest thing of all.
The last thing you need to have to be successful is money. When you have money, you have a job. What I’m talking about is not that you have to be rich to be successful, but to have kindness in your heart when you have money. In my opinion, if you have money or you have a job and you don’t think about the others and you don’t have kindness in your heart, you’re not even close to being a successful person. To other people that are rich, they may think that you’re a successful person but for the others that don’t have all the opportunities that you had, they will think that you’re selfish. If you have money and a job and you care for others, in my opinion, you’re a successful person. If you’re kind to others, one day they will be kind to you. Do you see how love, education and money are related? If you don’t see how those three things word, let me tell you. To be educated or to have money you need to have love, to have money you need to be educated and to be a successful person, you need to have all three of those things.
As previously mentioned, if you have love, education and money, that makes you a successful person.

Widley’s Essay:

Before I start to answer this question, I want to tell you that the word “successful” itself is philosophical. Everybody has their own answer to this question and most of them think that money makes someone successful. However, I think that it means more than money to make someone successful. On the other hand, I think that money does make someone successful in a way. Let me tell you what I think makes someone successful.
To start, I think you could be successful in many ways. Furthermore, the most common version of being someone that is successful is money. Most people think that if someone has a lot of money, you are successful which is true. The way that I interpret this is that this person made goals before he had all this money. Before, he had to sacrifice himself by working hard and most importantly, he persevered. Eventually, he succeeded and had a lot of money but first he didn’t have all this money, it was actually reaching his goals that made him have all this money. On one side, I think money is just the big prize that you get for reaching your goals. In this case, I think reaching your goals makes you successful, not the money you get at the end.
To continue, if you want to be successful, you must set a plan. You won’t wake up and be successful because in our life time, you must work to get what you want. The first step to being successful is to make a plan of how you will achieve your goal. Moreover, for you to reach your goal, you must persevere. As one of my teachers once said, “Success doesn’t come without perseverance.” On the other hand, some kids are born rich and I imagine that some people might say that this kid is successful but for me, this kid is not yet successful. The reason that I said that was because this kid will only use his parents wealth and in his head, there will be no reason why he should work hard and bad luck might happen and eventually, he will be poor. Now people will say that this kid is not successful which is partially true. They are only looking at money but I am looking at the past because this kid didn’t take his parents wealth to a higher position, he just wasted it. However, if this kid made a plan of how he’s going to take his parents wealth to a higher position and he succeeded, in my eyes, he’s successful.
On second thought, how do you know you are successful? Before I answer this questions, there is a word that matches with successful and it is succeed. To succeed is actually achieving what you have planned to do. I figured out that they both mean the same thing but one is a verb and the other one is the adjective. So I think that for you to be successful you must succeed in what you wanted to do. For example, if you wanted to be an actor when you grow up and it came true, I could say that you are successful because you succeeded in what you wanted to do. Also, you know that you are successful when you reach what you wanted to do or succeeded in what you planned to do.
To summarize, in my opinion, I think that achieving your goals or in another word, succeeding in what you planned to do, makes someone successful.

Excited to begin the school year, students have been preparing by cleaning up their classroom, doing their “back-to-school” shopping, and trying on their uniforms!


Join us October 14, 2018 for a one-night only special event celebrating the launch of Mitch Albom’s The Next Person You Meet in Heaven at the Detroit Opera House, benefitting the children of the Have Faith Haiti Mission and Detroit. Guests include Anderson Cooper, Jane Pauley, Sophia Bush, ‘The Detroiters’ stars Sam Richardson and Tim Robinson, Joe Dumars, Bob Costas, KEM, and a video appearance by Jim Harbaugh. Details and ticket information here

Summer Tribes (and Vibes)

Summer Tribes (and Vibes)

Despite a break for safety concerns, older kids at the Have Faith Haiti Mission enjoyed making new friends, and having new experiences at Camp Clos and Camp CTTPB.

Thank you to the donors who made it possible: Cynthia D., Kathleen V., Pam G., Hannah J., Thomas M., Kristi Z., Laurie K. Tori M., Vicki H., Caitlin W., Carol M., Linda B., Jonathan M., Theresa R., Sharon K., Rita R., Matthew S., Beatrice E., CD W., Cynthia S., and Tom T.

For the little ones who were too young to attend camp, joined by the older kids on off days, Have Faith Haiti  was also home to one very important summer mission: transforming their environment, through learning and imagination, into the Amazon rainforest. They learned about two indigenous tribes that live in the rainforest, the Yanomami and the Baka, and divided into their own “tribes” in a four-week competition of various exercises and activities, culminating in a final performance: an original song, dance, chant, hand shake, and oral presentations in English and French.

And the winner is….Yanonami!

Join us October 14, 2018 for a one-night only special event celebrating the launch of Mitch Albom’s The Next Person You Meet in Heaven at the Detroit Opera House, benefitting the children of the Have Faith Haiti Mission and Detroit. Guests include Anderson Cooper, Jane Pauley, Sophia Bush, ‘The Detroiters’ stars Sam Richardson and Tim Robinson, Joe Dumars, Bob Costas, KEM, and a video appearance by Jim Harbaugh. Details and ticket information here

It’s Back-to-School Time

It’s Back-to-School Time

In the 1990s, Staples aired a popular commercial about a parent’s joy at back-to-school shopping, calling it the “most wonderful time of the year.” We know Christmas in December (and July), but it looks like for frenzied parents eager to get back to a regular school schedule, September is another holiday season.

It’s not quite a holiday for us, but we certainly have a tradition, and it’s starting as of today: the back-to-school wishlist.

Every year, we open our school preparations to kind sponsors and supporters like you who, in turn, open your hearts to help equip our students with all they need for a successful school year. How successful? Well, our dearest Manno did so well on his TOEFL that he is starting Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan this fall.

While we take every effort to purchase all goods locally in Haiti, the protests in July have resulted in damage and looting to many stores we patronize, including Delimart, which was burned down and is hoping to rebuild within the next year. Regrettably, our efforts this year will have to prioritize maximizing our budget and that may mean purchasing some goods from U.S. vendors. We will also not be taking the students out to shop directly because the stores we will have to visit, like Maison Handel, survived the protests but are too far to safely transport all of the children. Instead, we will open a pop up “school store” on campus, and mimic the budgeting lesson on through another currency, like “points.”

We’ve divided up the wishlist by child and into $20 / $25 / $50 options. You can view it here.

Join us October 14, 2018 for a one-night only special event celebrating the launch of Mitch Albom’s The Next Person You Meet in Heaven at the Detroit Opera House, benefitting the children of the Have Faith Haiti Mission and Detroit. Guests include Anderson Cooper, Jane Pauley, Sophia Bush, ‘The Detroiters’ stars Sam Richardson and Tim Robinson, Joe Dumars, Bob Costas, KEM, and a video appearance by Jim Harbaugh. Details and ticket information here

A Wall of Winners, the French Edition

A Wall of Winners, the French Edition

As is tradition, the annual English spelling bee is always followed by a French one. The Have Faith Haiti Mission School is an école bilinguale, or bilingual school. Sudents learn four hours of English and three hours of French every school day, with a curriculum designed to reach all Haitian academic standards as well as prepare students for any TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) standardized tests.

And so we present, without further ado, the winners of this year’s concours d’orthographe for the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh grade French classes held at the end of June.

See some familiar faces and names below? It’s no surprise. Some of our best French spellers have quite a knack for it in English, too! Another common theme? Ties!

Level Four

Tied for first place for Primary 2 with Nickenson, Josue and Bettinie once again found themselves equally matched in French.

Level Five

Enolyka and Louvenson are once again head-to-head as they were last year in French, and a few weeks ago in the English spelling bee, Primary 4 division.

Level Six

Widley and Appoloste just can’t seem to stop tying for first place, as they did with Djouna in the English bee, Senior level.

Level Seven

Chivensky (last year’s winner) and Nahoum in another tie.

An Update from the Mission Amid Haiti Protests

Late last week, protests erupted in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, and in the northern city of Cap-Haitien, after the the government announced a price increase of 38 percent to 51 percent for gasoline, diesel and kerosene. U.S. State Department issued an alert Sunday urging its citizens on the island to shelter in place, and many flights have been cancelled and road are unsafe.

The situation in Haiti is dire and we feel it at the Have Faith Haiti Mission. Some of our older children were at summer jobs and got caught in the protests and could not get home. They slept at offices. Members of our staff were also caught in the disturbances and had to abandon cars and walk. Thankfully, now, all of our children and extended family are safe and on our premises. For the moment, our supplies will hold. But getting around is difficult and dangerous. Our children are being loved and watched over, which is our mission there, and we thank everyone for their inquiries and prayers.

Many beloved shops and restaurants frequented by our children for special occasions have been caught in the blazes set by protestors, and we pray for the safety and wellbeing of our community.

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