Sponsoring a student with Restore Haiti changes lives, the life of both your sponsored student and of your own. We see evidence of this in so many ways, most significantly seen by the positive impact that having a student's educational expenses covered makes. In Haiti an education is not free, as it is in North America and many countries around the world, leaving hundreds of thousands of children in Haiti, or approximately 50%, without a primary school education and approximately 80% not reaching secondary school.
Student sponsorship provides children and young adults in Haiti with the best possible chance of changing their life, their family's life, and the community that they live in for the better. Many of our students, representative of much of the younger generation in Haiti, want to contribute to bringing positive change to their country in so many empowering ways. Providing them with a primary leading to a secondary and then a post-secondary education arms our students with the skills, knowledge, motivation, and determination to fulfill goals such as this.
With a university or trade school education, students are able to acquire a job and an income, thus providing a much improved standard of living for themselves and their family. Some of our students have been hired by us at Restore Haiti while some have gotten jobs with other NGO's or businesses or have acquired the skills and entrepreneurial spirit to open up their own shop or business operation, such as a mechanic shop or selling clothes that they themselves have designed and made.
One example of this is Yanicka Volcy (left) who is a graduate of our Sponsorship Program, having graduated from both the Tailoring and Administrative Assistant post-secondary programs and thus no longer needing financial assistance for her education. She was hired by Restore Haiti in June 2023 to manage our Backpack Sewing Project, overseeing and training 15 sewers (who were also current and past students of ours that we hired for this project) to sew over 700 backpacks for our students. Yanicka also now designs, sews and sells garments to local Haitians, earning an income and providing for herself and her family.
Another graduate of our Sponsorship Program, Elizabeth Francois (right), who graduated from a Nursing Program in 2023, was hired as our newest nurse at our Medical Clinic. She credits her sponsor for much of her success, "Your support has not only helped me financially, but also given me the commitment and motivation to pursue my goals with more determination. Please accept my sincere thanks for your kindness and for enabling possibilities that were previously beyond my reach."
Over the years, the number of students attending a post-secondary program, either at university or a trade school, has grown significantly. In 2023 we had over 90 students advancing to and excelling at this level of education.
While the incredible life-changing benefits received by our sponsored students from having the educational opportunities that being financially sponsored provides them with, our sponsors themselves reap different, but just as impactful, reciprocal benefits as they witness first-hand the positive impact that their financial support provides for their student. This impact can be seen and felt through personal communication with their student, regular updates from our administrative staff in Haiti regarding their student's progress and from receiving personal videos from their student. Knowing that someone's life has been changed for the better by actions taken by ourselves is priceless.
Sponsoring a student makes such a significant difference in their life, as expressed by Maryse Aladin (below), a medical student who dreams of becoming a surgeon, crediting her sponsor for helping her conquer this dream.
As much as our sponsored students express their deep gratitude for receiving the financial support of their education, our sponsors themselves express just as much gratitude for the experience of seeing their sponsored student grow and progress through the various levels of education that their financial contribution provides. Witnessing the difference that their monthly sponsorship makes is the greatest gift and blessing that life can offer, the gift and blessing of helping one another.