Meet 7 year old Michaelle…
Last week I was walking along one of the stunning mountains called Bellevue Mountain when I saw Michaelle running around with rocks in her hands. I started asking her what she was doing, and she looked at me with her big brown eyes and said, “There are two black birds.” And I looked back at her and said, “Yes I see them, but what are you doing.” And she answered back quickly, “Throwing rocks at them!.” And once again even more confused, I answered her back and said, “Yes, I see, but Why.” And she finally paused for the first time, her beautiful brown eyes widening as she looked at me and said, “To Eat!!” And she turned around and kept throwing her rocks at the birds.
I must have looked really appalled because I felt a tug on my arm, looked down and her little friend looked up at me and whispered with a grin, “It’s true, she eats birds.”
This was my first encounter with 7 year old Michaelle Dimanche.
I watched her for a few minutes after our brief conversation as she persistently threw rocks at the two black birds on the mountainside. When she was finally tired, she walked over to me and started talking. I asked her a few questions about herself, her name, age, where she lived etc. After a few minutes I could see an older woman walking up from the side of the mountain. I began walking toward her as she told me her name and then immediately began speaking about the young girl.
The first thing that she said, in front of the little girl was that her mom is dead and her dad is nowhere to be found, he doesn’t want her, nobody wanted her, so that’s why she took Michaelle in. Immediately my heart broke, I wanted to cover Michaelle’s ears and tell her that’s not true, that she is LOVED and WANTED and SPECIAL! But as the moment passed I realized that Michaelle didn’t even flinch when this was said, she had probably heard it tons of times. I was immediately broken, unable to even imagine what this little girl had been through.
The older lady began to tell me how her house was destroyed in the earthquake and that she moved from an area called Carrefour, out to Gressier about 3 months ago. She said that no one wanted the little girl, so she decided to take her in although she could hardly afford to feed her. This is where they live (with 5 other people).
I then asked if Michaelle went to school and the elderly lady said that she couldn’t go to school because she couldn’t afford it. She also said that she has 4 other children staying with her but that they all go to school.
I could just picture everyone waking up for the day, all the kids going to school and Michaelle sitting there, believing lies and thinking that no one wants her, and that she is not even worthy enough to go to school. After hearing this statement from the elderly woman, I looked straight at Michaelle and asked her clearly, “Do you want to go to school?” And almost before I could even finish my question she shouted, “YES! I would Love to.” I looked back at the elderly woman and asked if she had the little girls paperwork (meaning birth certificate or birth information) and she said Yes. I then looked at both of them and said, okay well let’s go tomorrow to enroll her in school. Michaelle couldn’t even contain herself she began jumping up and down and hugging me…
The next morning when I came to get them, it was sad in the beginning because the older lady almost seemed surprised when I showed up….it made me wonder how many times they had been let down before. So then when the little girl saw I was there…she ran inside (because she was wearing the same thing from the previous day) and then returned a few minutes later wearing this precious blue and white princess dress-up dress with white shoes…she wanted to change to be pretty for registering for school. So once we started off to walk to the school Michaelle could hardly control her excitement and was literally running there….
Once we registered her for school, we got her uniform, her photo’s for school and received the book list for her…the grand total for a year of a GOOD Private School (there is no free education in Haiti so even Public Schools cost money, but most of the time they are not good environments for children to learn anything) and all of the amenities (uniform, shoes, books etc.) was around $225.
That’s it. $225 to change a child’s life. $225 to change this little girl’s future forever. If that sounds like a big number to you, let me break it down. Divide that $225 by 12 months and you get about $19 A MONTH! For the price of eating at Chick-fil-a once a month and a couple of Starbucks coffees, I was able to send this adorable 7 year old who has NEVER been to school before to a good private school in Haiti. This makes my heart SING with Joy!
You see….Education is the KEY to change in Haiti. Educating the children of Haiti is ESSENTIAL for the future of this country.
What an amazing story of God’s provision. What an amazing story of hearing a little girls cry for change, for opportunity, for a CHANCE to make a difference.
“Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered.” Proverbs 21:13
Thank you Michaelle Dimanche for teaching me to clearly hear the cry for help from the children in Gressier, Haiti.
I pray that I will never close my ears to any Michaelle’s and that I will be able to continue to support children in receiving an education in Haiti.
If you are interested in partially or fully supporting a child in Gressier or interested in making a general donation. Please click here or go to How to Support Respire Haiti. For questions or comments about School Sponsorship please email firstname.lastname@example.org All donations are tax-exempt.