Mirlanda* was only three years old when she started kindergarten at the NPH Haiti school for vulnerable children. Today, she is a confident and educated young woman who works as a teacher in the school, thanks to NPH programmes investing in her future.
Haiti is the most poverty-stricken country in Latin America and the Caribbean, with 80% of the population living below the poverty line. Many children are vulnerable: maltreated, abandoned and suffering from lack of healthcare and malnutrition. The area Mirlanda lives and works in is currently under the control of armed gangs.
Her NPH mentor explains: “The current challenge for this young woman is to fight for a place in society with all the socio-political difficulties at present. She finds that day by day things are getting more complicated here in Haiti.”
Despite the economic and political situation in Haiti, NPH programmes, both residential and in the community, continue to operate to help children who live there.
Raised by the NPH family
Mirlanda was one of the lucky ones – she had a place in St. Helene, one of NPH Haiti’s residential homes in the mountains and grew up there exposed to all the development opportunities that they could offer her. It has both a primary and secondary school on-site, as well as a pre-school, farm and other amenities, which serve the 430 children who live there, as well as 350 children who come to school from the local communities.
“My name is Mirlanda. I am a young beneficiary of the programmes of NPH Haiti,” she explains, “I grew up in St. Helene, joining at a very young age where I was offered health, education and all kinds of leisure. Throughout my stay in St. Helene, I lived a very beautiful experience and learned to share, love and better understand others.”
“Now, I am a university student, thanks to the support of all our donors,” she continues, “Today, I work as a teacher at the NPH school, bringing my contribution to education, all this thanks to your support. On behalf of each of our children, a big thanks to all our sponsors. Thank you for allowing them to realise their dreams.”
*Privacy note: Children’s names, marked with an asterisk, have been changed to protect their privacy.