Gonaïves – Despite the growing spread of the Covid-19 virus in Haiti, our partners are busy ending the school year and evaluating the functioning of the nutrition and therapy center as well as the sewing workshops over the past six months.

In the first week, the school held final exams, the results of which were known on June 21, 2021. A total of 678 elementary students and 100 high school students advanced to higher classes, exactly 23 students completed the ninth grade and are leaving school this year. “We had to close the school for the whole of February due to political unrest and many kidnappings. Despite the pandemic, however, the teachers tried to give the children the appropriate attention and the parents cooperated well with the school, so there was not the slightest problem, “describes the tense situation of the school principal Emmaus St. Joseph Sr. Margaret Michael.

Since this year, teachers have been delighted with the new high school student Bobs Augtestein. When he was accepted, he could not walk or articulate himself. Now, after a year of care for both teachers and students, and after regular daily visits to a rehabilitation center, it is much better. He walks alone with little help, dictates the texts of final exams to teachers (because writing is still a big challenge for him) and enjoys life with other classmates. Thanks to him, they learn patience, cooperation and helping each other.

Nutrition and rehabilitation center, sewing workshop

This year, we registered 55 new children for treatment in a rehabilitation center. The interest is huge. “Due to political instability and threats from the mafia, it is not possible to send children to the capital for treatment, so we try to treat them as best we can here. It is a pleasure for us that even with our basic care, many of them are experiencing great progress, “says Sr. Pyari.

In 2021, the nutrition center is visited by 68 mothers and 70 children, who receive food for themselves and their children every week. To prevent Covid-19 infection, they come to the center in two groups. “It gives us the opportunity to work with them more individually. We offer them information lessons about morality, religion, social life, health or hygiene, “they enthusiastically describe this unexpected opportunity of the nurse.

Currently, 38 seamstresses are taught in the sewing workshop. They go on two shifts to have more time to work directly with sewing machines. Eight students from last year’s group have already received their apprenticeship after two years. “Everyone who completed the course last year is already working in the polo shirt factory run by American Catholic on our premises,” the director said the situation was positive. It’s a big change and help for them and their families.

Lada Matyášová, Archdiocesan Caritas Olomouc