A New Mindset in Haiti

During the month of April, Vista Hermosa Foundation distributed $218,000 to 27 international grant partners to support their front line work related to Covid-19. These organizations have championed the causes of food relief, access to clean water and hygiene supplies, distribution of accurate information in indigenous languages, and other essential services, all while fostering a spirit of cohesion, solidarity, service and kindness.

Following is an update from one of our partners in Haiti.

L’Ecole de Choix (School of Choice) works in Mirebalais, Haiti. Once the grant was approved, we contacted our main food supplier, who not only was able to procure many of the requested supplies because we ordered in bulk, but encouraged another provider to donate some products. Two trucks arrived on April 21st full of rice, corn meal, pinto beans, fish, peanut butter, soap, sanitizer, cotton swabs, gloves and face masks.

Our staff spent two days on campus preparing packages for community members and setting up a proper process for distribution. We also engaged in significant training, both retraining in health and safety and new training for the specific products in this distribution. This time period was critical  because we set up instruction tables during distribution in order to offer demonstrations to students and families on how to properly use all of the supplies. Because education is a part of all that we do at Choix, parents and families knew our campus was a safe zone. As a result, during the distributions, they were comfortable asking questions when they did not understand and they felt no shame. They knew they were being well received.

We distributed the supplies over the course of three days, separating the students and families by grade level in order to allow for proper social distancing. The community was grateful to Choix because we reinforced to them that we are still here in solidarity with them. Furthermore, we demonstrated to them that sometime soon we will be back in session, which represents a bright spot of hope.

In addition to essential foods like rice and bean, we distributed products that people are unable to find anywhere. Our students, specifically, were empowered by this distribution. They realized that their families are receiving the distribution because they are Choix students. These strong, young people understand that their families are under a great burden, and yet they are able to contribute to their families’ needs because they attend Choix! We explained to our students that being a good community model, a good member of their family, is their job right now. In this way, they are providing for their families and this manner of role modeling is a completely different mindset than they have ever seen in their lifetimes –using their minds, their intelligence, and their kindness (not only their labor) is quite new. They embrace it!

To learn more about School of Choice, please visit their website.

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