What I Will Be Doing
While I am always in awe of the ever-expanding reach of Mission of Hope’s influence every time I return, I constantly feel myself being called back to the schools and orphanage to work with the children. Because of this, I could not be more pleased that I have been named both the Sponsorship Coordinator for MOH in Haiti as well as Children’s Counselor and have committed to live in Haiti initially for one year starting in September 2012. I am deeply humbled by Mission of Hope’s allowance of me to work in areas that are so rapidly expanding and have so much room for growth. What started out as a small school on MOH’s campus has turned into multiple schools around the country with thousands of students, every single one of them needing sponsors. With plans to build even more schools and fill them with even more students, it will be my job to manage a program that will effectively collect the data of every student, make sure they are sponsored, ensure that their sponsors are receiving correct, timely and intimate correspondence from their student and vice versa. This job alone comes with great responsibility and I am anxiously diving in to learn more about the sponsorship process and how we can continue to educate the nation of Haiti.
As Children’s Counselor, I am blessed to be creating a program that will help guide and support those young adults who will be transitioning out of Mission of Hope in the coming years and into daily life as a Haitian citizen. Making my visits to MOH over the past couple of years and catching up with the 60+ kids at the Village of Hope (MOH’s on-site orphanage), it began to hit me that these children are growing up quickly! Generally speaking, children in Haiti look much younger than they actually are and it is oftentimes difficult to guess their age correctly. Looking back at their documented birthdates, I realized that a staggering 49% of the children at the Village of Hope are at or over the age of thirteen! This means that almost half of the family is at an age where they should begin considering their future with or outside of Mission of Hope. It is my goal as Children’s Counselor to create a program that will help support them in their transitioning time, getting to know their strengths and aspirations, plugging them into apprenticeships where they can study and learn, and looking into their options for furthering their education or starting careers. This is a program that I hope to expand not only to all of the children at the Village of Hope, but also to every student attending any of the schools funded by Mission of Hope.
How You Can Support
It is always such an encouragement to me to look at the great amount of responsibility I have been given with MOH, realize that it is way too much to handle in my own power and see a constant stream of support coming in various forms from people that are just as passionate about the work being done in Haiti as I am. There are many ways that you can continue to support both Mission of Hope and myself throughout the coming year. The first thing that I would ask everyone to do is simply to pray. I know now more than ever that I need to stay in constant prayer and trust God with my uncertainties and anxiety about the coming year. I ask that all of you continue to pray for my life in Haiti: for confidence in my new job, safety, health, for the children with whom I will be working, etc. This more than anything is what I hope you will commit to do in support. Another way you can support the work being done at Mission of Hope is to stay connected. I have created a home webpage (www.about.me/bethfionda) that will make it easier than ever to receive updates from my blog, pictures of the kids and links to all of my social networks that will have new information posted weekly. If it interests you, I also ask that you send me an email to my new address, firstname.lastname@example.org to become a part of the mailing group where I will be sending out regular email updates. The last way that I hope that you will consider supporting is financially. All Mission of Hope staff members continue to live and work in Haiti based on their financial support that is raised monthly to cover the cost of living healthily and safely. If you are interested in donating to either my life in Haiti or any of Mission of Hope's areas of influence, I have provided a link on my homepage that will take you directly to my donation site. For more information on how to donate via mail, please send me an email.
I want to again thank everyone who has supported me over the past few years: to my family who has never second-guessed my passion for the Haitian people; to my friends who have probably heard my favorite stories about the kids way more than they would like and to those of you whom I have never even met but continue to follow my story; your support is an inspiration to me and I thank you.
These adorable faces also thank you!