Today I had to say some really difficult “No’s.” I work at a school so you might thing it has something to do with my kids, but it didn’t.
This week ALL of the 26 Quisqueya Christian School students in the class of 2K15 are off on their senior trip in Florida. My classes here are pretty light, just me and one young man in sewing and me and 4 Juniors in Sign Language. It’s calm.
But today I didn’t have to say NO to a silly request from a senior or some other student. Today two young Haitian men, men who I am sure are talented and have many skills-showed up at QCS. They were just boys when I met them a few years ago, they were in a youth program that was run by one of my past organizations. Since then, not a week goes by that I don’t get a phone call from some one asking me for a job or school or money. The answer is always NO.
I am not sure how, but today they found me. They showed up here at QCS and I still had to tell them No. I hate it. It’s so unfair. Their lives are hard.
I talked to them for ten minutes or so and told them I don’t have a job for them as a teacher or a translator, a metal worker or making beads, I don’t have job for them as drivers or washing clothes or anything else.
It was heartbreaking. Saying NO never gets easier. I walked them out and they waved goodbye. I turned, went into my house, sat down in my chair and cried. I cried out to Jesus, because there is simply nothing I can do. I struggled to see the point of the last five years here. My heart breaks for those young boys, but there is nothing I can do.
And tonight I am back in my chair crying.
My seniors are on their senior trip in Florida. They have been at the HEART Missionary Training Institute since Sunday and tonight as I clicked through the pictures on face book I cried.
This afternoon things felt so helpless, but tonight I am so proud. I looked at the picture of the 26 students that make up our senior class and I am proud. They are the future. They are the ones who will provide jobs, who will keep families together. They are Haiti.
I think about the breakthroughs that last years seniors had during this same trip and my heart screams for joy to think this years group is having a similar experience. I can not wait for them to return from this trip to hear all their stories and feelings and watch them process it. The next six weeks of school are going to FLY by and my emotions are all over the place.
I can not wait for them to return from college and process the impact they can make on their country-to turn my NO into a YES.
Thank you Jesus for helping me to look to you. To keep going when my heart feels a NO. Thank you for meeting me, even when I am blinded to you. Thank you for putting me exactly where you have me.
I want to introduce you to Donald; he is one of our hardest working employees at REBUILD. He is caring, protective and driven; Donald cares about everyone around him and would do anything for any one. Over the last two years we have seen Donald blossom into an impressive young man, but he has come a long way from the days of his difficult youth.
Donald was a restavek, sold into modern day child slavery after his father passed away. Donalds mother was unable to care for her children and did the only thing she could think of to help her family; sacrifice one to save the rest.
Donald is 21 years old and in sixth grade. Donald started with RG as an apprentice, he quickly transitioned into part time employment attending school in the evenings. As a restavek his childhood was taken from him, his free-will was gone. All Donald wanted to do was go to school, to learn, to be able to take care of himself; now he can.
Donald has a full time job and responsibilities he never had before. Not only does Donald take care of himself, but he has helped his brother and family out as well!!! Donald has his OWN apartment, attends school at night, is a full time employee at REBUILD Globally and is taking driving lessons! We are so proud of the man Donald has become! His smiling face greets us every day and it always brightens up the room! It chills me to think where Donald might be had he never came to REBUILD…
Donald may be younger than me, he may not have a degree from a good University in the US, but Donald teaches me something every day and I am grateful for him.
Will you help more kids be successful like Donald? Sponsor an Apprentice student through REBUILD Globally and find out how you can impact the life of someone else-who knows, they might end up teaching you something!
Last week was a huge week for REBUILD!!! Founder and CEO, Julie, is in London where she has an amazing opportunity to showcase REBUILDERS at the 2012 London Olympic Games in Hyde Park at Africa Village. We are honored to share a booth with AMREFUK, a charity organization that focuses on women’s health in Africa.
We are told by our friends at AMREFEK that unemployment is at 80% in some of the countries in Africa they work in. Just as in Haiti, women feel the pains of poverty and unemployment deeply and are unable to provide for their children; most have no access to health care. RG is excited for the new friendship and partnership, not only for this opportunity during the 2012 Olympics, but to explore possible partnership and future expansion opportunities!
Back in Haiti Sandra and I have been trying to keep up with changes around the shop, get ready for the trade show in NYC and manage the grant. Sandra is the RG Country Director and an amazing woman, I am so fortunate to work with her at RG! Last week RG was the featured story on the MINUSTA (UN) website. We are so honored to be a recipient of the QIP (Quick Impact Project) from MINUSTA. Through the QIP grant we have been able to impact many lives and expand in ways we only dreamed about! Needless to say this was a big week at RG, and it seems things are only getting better!
A message from RG founder on Global Giving Project:
As this year has progressed, REBUILD globally has received a remarkable opportunity for growth, yet was also victim to a crime that threatened the livelihoods of our artisans, street children and apprentices.
Last month our artisan workshop was broken into and vandalized while an international corporation threatened the insurance of our donated modular buildings on site. After an inspiring commitment to justice enacted by the REBUILD artisans and community, local authorities signed to back the buildings on site allowing the artisans to continue their gratifying work.
Before this attack on the REBUILD shop, the United Nations awarded us with a grant that allows us to have the monetary capacity to employ NINETEEN more artisan women! This is a great opportunity to further our reach and help mend the community of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. One of the most exciting aspects of this grant is that we are employing the mothers of the boys in our street child program. What we have learned in Haiti, is that most of the children living on the streets are not orphaned, it is that their (mostly single moms) do not have jobs and therefore can not take care of them. Therefore, it is our mandate to employ these women and get these children off the streets for good!
YOU can help us with this mission! The vandalism of our workshop last month put us a few steps behind as we intended to hire more women, but your commitment to help keep artisan women employed can change lives forever. We are still in need of replacement shoe making tools and equipment, as well as fuel for our generator.
With the help of our devoted patrons and supporters like you, we have come so far with our work and mission. We are excited to welcome our new cohort of artisans and look forward to increasing our productivity and community outreach.
This Wednesday, June 13, Global Giving will match 40% of all donations given to REBUILD Globally. This means that your $50.00 donation will automatically become $70.00! At a time where our organization has overcome continuous hurdles and obstacles, your support will enable us to continue building our physical capacity and work environment.
We encourage you to follow our facebook to stay up to date on all RG happenings and watch our videos on youtube! Our NEW online sandal shop is up and running, visit http://www.rebuildglobally.org/products-page/ to order your pair of REBUILDERs!
The REBUILD Team