Have you ever wondered how New Life for Haiti brings new kids into the child sponsorship program? Well, once a year, we send a team to the Grand’Anse River Valley of Haiti to update photographs and process new kids into the program to be sponsored. This year’s team just returned late last month and had a very busy time indeed.
As soon as the team landed in Marfranc, they walked the mile from the guest house to the Good Shepherd Baptist School. There, they prepared to take updated photographs of the 107 kids already enrolled in the program. Under normal circumstances, this is a lengthy process that generally spans several days. This trip presented an unusual challenge.
“We usually do this in March”, explained NLH Director Pastor Fran Leeman, “but the election this year forced us to wait until June.”
In March, school is still in session, so it’s easy to have the kids simply stay after school to have their photos taken. But by the time the team arrived this year, school had already let out for the summer.
“Kind of hard to catch kids for pictures when school is out”, noted Joline Moore.
Indeed, while parents brought the younger kids to the photo shoot, many of the older kids were busy working in their parent's gardens, meaning extra time was needed to connect with all the kids, especially those living across the river from Marfranc in Fouache.
Erin Inman photographs a girl for the sponsorship program while Pastor Fran and others look on
At the school, the photo shoot was a bustling scene. The kids had to be checked in and then brought in groups to have their pictures taken. This year, Katy Deenihan and Cassie Long—two of the youngest people to travel to Haiti on a work trip—helped out. Katy and Cassie are teenagers from LifeSpring Community Church.
“While Erin [Inman] and Todd [Pierson] were taking photos of the kids”, Katy said in a blog post, “I was in charge of bringing them to the area where the photos were taken. And for just those split seconds, bringing them there was so joyful. I got to see such bright and happy smiles. I didn't want it to end.”
But eventually the photo shoot at Marfranc did end, and the 107 kids already enrolled in the program had new pictures taken and ten new First Graders from the school were processed into the program.
Then on June 27th, the team travelled to the nearby village of Moron to process in a new group of children from the school there. This marks the first time new kids have been brought in from a school other than Good Shepherd Baptist School in Marfranc. The team set up shop like they did at Marfranc and processed in 20 new kids from this school. When all is said and done, this will bring to a total 36 children that will be available to be sponsored. Look for these children to be available on the website as soon as their photos and information are entered into the system.
If all of this sounds like something you’d be interested in helping with, keep an eye out in the Spring for next year’s child sponsorship program data collection trip!