Written by Joey Burda
After my first trip to Haiti last April I found myself wanting to communicate more deeply with the people in the village. I thought about how much more dynamic my experience would have been, and could be, if I was actually able to sit down and talk with the children. I found myself wanting to know more about them…their lives, experiences, and testimonies. I also desired to share the Word of God and provide guidance. As soon as I got back from my first trip, I looked into learning the language. However, I quickly realized that there is very little support and resources available to learn the Haitian Creole language. I also learned that one of the most important factors in successfully learning a new language is immersion.
With all of these thoughts running through my mind for the good part of 6 months, I finally realized that bringing the English Language to Village Merci De Dieu would prove much more beneficial to the children than me learning Creole. I also learned, through several conversations, that other donors had the same desire as I. So, during our latest trip in January, Pastor Etienne arranged a meeting with a young man named Robenson. We interviewed him and felt he was a perfect fit for teaching English to a group of children in the village.
This past week the first English class was taught in the village! The class consisted of 15 students ranging from age 10-17 years. The students will be in class 1 hour a day, 3 days a week. The primary goal is to teach conversational English, but writing will become equally important as the program progresses. The parents and the children understand the opportunity that is being presented to them and they are committed to learning the English language. Robenson will be reporting back the student’s attendance and performance on a monthly basis. Anyone not taking the class seriously will be replaced by a child willing to take full advantage of the opportunity being provided. I am so very excited that this has come to fruition and cannot wait to see God’s leading. Here is a picture of the inaugural English class:
Front row left to right: Lovelie, Lovena, Nedjlie, Ashley, Richard, Fritz Gerald
Back row left to right: Belangina, Daphca, Dieuvena, Christella, Jennca, Beverly, Marjorie,Alexis
Here is just a short list of the many benefits for those learning English:
- Ability to communicate with missionaries and teams when they visit the village.
- Potential future income acting as a translator inside or outside of the village.
- Access to more learning resources.
- Knowledge of a language that is known worldwide if given the opportunity to move or travel.
My prayer is that we are able to get the funding to provide classroom time for all of the children interested in learning a new language, expanding their opportunity to become self-sufficient, and support their families when the time comes.
If you currently sponsor a child then this is something you might want to consider. At this point, our target class size is 12-15 students. The cost is $10 US for one month (or 12 hours of class time). When our team returns to the village in July, to register children for the next school year, our desire is to add a 2nd English class depending on the success of this first class and the interest from our sponsors.
– – – – – – – – – – –
If you feel led, click here to donate, and be sure to write “English Classes” in your check memo or PayPal notes. Thank you!