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Holiday Happenings at Have Faith Haiti

Holiday Happenings at Have Faith Haiti

Holy exclamations, Batman, that’s a lot of alliteration! But there was also a lot of spirit as we celebrated the holy season.

Over the weekend we honored some of our sports folks.

We broke bread together on Christmas eve, and Manno, home from college for the first time since he started last semester, sat with the little ones.

No Christmas day celebration would be complete without a Nativity scene and short play.

The littlest sing “What a Wonderful World”

Junie-Anna delivers a rousing sermon about the meaning of Christmas, and gets photobombed by a skinny Santa!

And music and dance performances from The Band (not that one) and a dance group!

Appoloste, Edney, Nahoum, Louvenson, and Chivensky
They did their own choreography!

We hope your holidays were as warm and festive for you as they were for us. We’d like to thank you for all of your support in 2018, and all that you make possible.

Learning How to Care for Our Planet

Learning How to Care for Our Planet

Last weekend, students at Have Faith Haiti were treated to an all-day field trip to an ecological reserve called Wynne Farm.  Taking a multi-faceted approach to nature preserve, Wynne Farm is one of the few nature attractions, ecological parks, environmental schools, and yoga retreats in Haiti. Wynne Farm is located up the mountain south of Port-au-Prince amidst breathtaking ambiance. Its mission is to teach students, farmers, and visitors locally and globally about conservation, reforestation, and sustainable organic farming.

During the trip, sponsored by Dr. Richard Keidan of Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI and friend of the mission Patty Anderson, students toured the farm and visited with the animals, all while learning about the benefits of environmental stewardship. 

They also went horseback riding, hiking, learned a Brazilian & martial arts dance, made earrings from recycled plastic bottles, and converted recycled paper into charcoal bricks!

A Week of Scientific Exploration

A Week of Scientific Exploration

Science Week came to Have Faith Haiti, thanks to Dan and Beth Wenkel, two scientists from Minnesota who devoted an entire week to different science projects and lessons for students at every education level. 

First and foremost, a lesson on safety. Mirlande and Jimmyna found the goggles cool enough to wear at night, too!

Our youngest learned how to use pipettes and test tubes, a great first lesson for future chemists! They also made pinwheels, which may one day inspire them to help build stronger and more efficient wind turbines. 

Dan and Beth even brought microscopes, turning our classrooms into mini laboratories. Students not only examined their first set of samples  under the microscope, they learned all about how the devices worked. 

These chemists learned about ph levels and mixed acids and bases to form new brightly colored solutions using a red cabbage indicator, lemon juice, drain cleaner, soap, and vinegar

Our young engineers used connects and learned about hydraulics to build bridges and machines that would move when powered by pistons and water.

And don’t forget about Bianka’s foray into circuit boards (don’t worry, we never lost power during any experimentation!)

And last but not least, we couldn’t have a science week without a little daydreaming about the final frontier – space! Well, they did a little more than day dream, they learned how to build rockets. They measured the angle of rocket flight with PVC pipe and soda bottle rocket launchers, and experimented with nose cones and fins to determine how a rocket’s design and mass will affect the rocket’s flight. We’re NASA-ready…

We’re so grateful to Beth and Dan for advancing STEM at Have Faith Haiti. Many of our students already loved their science lessons in geology, biology, and earth science, and now with their generosity of time and dedication, we were able to explore chemistry, engineering, physics, and aerodynamics

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

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