As July’s horrific violence in Citè Soleil subsided, we delayed our summer camp until the second week in August, and we completed the first of three weeks without incident last week.
As many as 276 children came to the camp each day. Sadly, we could only accommodate 150; we had to turn 126 children away. As painful as that is for me to write and you to read, imagine how Justin and his friends felt as they had to close the doors leaving some children on the outside.
The week’s major activity… Our staff showed the children how to make laundry detergent. The activity may sound odd, but it is a practical skill that can be used in the future. “It’s something they can use to make money,” GBCCS Manager Justin Ricot explains. At the end of camp, each child who participated will receive a small bottle of detergent for their family.
Because our ‘new’ facility is so close to the old Salesian Parc de Citè Soleil, we take time every day for physical activity, frequently soccer. This is the same park where I originally met our friends from the Guepard Boxing Club six years ago.
As planned, when the children arrive, each receives a glass of milk and a slice of bread. Think about that when you are sitting at Denny’s or IHOP. When the day ends, our kitchen prepares a hot meal as we do during the school year. All are happy and grateful, the children we serve and the adults who serve them.
We remain true to our objective: for eight hours each day, we monitor the children and young people and minimize their exposure to the gang culture they survive in. With each slice of bread, each cup of milk, and each meal, we give more than physical nourishment… we give hope for a better future.
I remain extremely proud of our Haitian friends at GBCCS. Justin, Benoit, and their staff of heroes manage a HAITIAN program, operated by HAITIANS for the benefit of their HAITIAN community. On behalf of the children in Citè Soleil, thank you to those beautiful souls who opened their hearts and purses to sponsor this important summer activity.
The Children Pray and Give Thanks Before EVERY Meal