Last Fall we began a Pen Pal exchange between Ecole Shalom in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, and our nearby rural two room school. The idea was full of uncertainties but now it is well established.
The children of the Canadian school are all from nearby farms. They come to school on foot, by bicycle or horse drawn buggies. There are 40 students in the school. The children cannot be photographed, and we were worried that this might be a problem. We managed however to collect good classroom photos and pictures of the teachers as well. One of the teachers wrote a charming personal letter to the Haitian teachers. One of the teachers is in charge of grades 1-4, the other (who has worked in Haiti before the earthquake) instructs the grade 5-8 group.
The children from Ecole Shalom are a larger group, between 70-100. There are about six teachers. They arrive at school by foot, Tap-Tap, and sometimes even on Dad’s motorbike.
We were not sure that the Pen Pal program would have the momentum to move foreword, but at this time we are completing our third exchange. The letters that are being written now should arrive at Ecole Shalom in early February. The time between the exchanges can seem very long. It takes time to translate the messages and to mail them to someone who can deliver them to the schools. It is a joy to hear some of the comments (“They really have 11 children in their family in Canada?”, “We have a cat too!”…) Even the very young enjoy receiving drawings and stickers from their new friends. This exchange opens the eyes of the children in both countries.
Take a look!
A success I’d say!