Olomouc, Haiti – Exactly 206 parents involved in the Child sponsorship programme wrote a letter to their adoptive children in Haiti before Christmas. The letters reached the children successfully and conjured a smile on their faces.

The class of children started, each with only one sheet of paper in front of them. This is not a reading circle, but a class of Haitian children waiting impatiently for a greeting from their adoptive parents. It has long been a custom for Haitian children to correspond with their Czech parents. Children send messages from Haiti about how they are doing, how they are doing at school, what they usually have for lunch, who they are friends with or describe what games they play in their free time. Those who can’t write yet draw color pictures. Czech adoptive parents also do not spare words in their letters and are happy to write in the letter about their family, work or how they are doing. Don’t forget to attach a warm greeting.

Letters of adoptive parents in Haiti were traditionally carried by employees of the Archdiocesan Caritas Olomouc and personally handed over the letters to local children. This year, Haitian children received their letters from employees of local schools and centers with which the carita´s partners. The annual missions in Haiti had to be canceled due to political unrest in Haiti and the coronavirus pandemics of 2019 and 2020. However, Lada Matyášová, project coordinator in Haiti, scanned the letters and sent them by e-mail. The local partners printed the letters and passed them on to curious children, who eagerly read.

With the Child sponsorship programme, the Archdiocesan Caritas Olomouc started its activities in Haiti in 2005. Since then, more than 512 Haitian children have participated in the program, who, thanks to adoptive parents, have had the opportunity to attend school and have at least one hot meal a day.

Kateřina Biolková, Archdiocesan Caritas Olomouc