Hope for Haiti

Crêpes for a cause


Madame Blain with some of the children being supported from the crepe sale.

Tori Motloch

This year, The French club made some new resolutions; one of which was to give back to the world, particularly to a little friend in the south, Haiti.

Why? As French Teacher Madame Blain puts it, “I just sort of decided 2017 is the year I was going to get involve with Haiti again.”

As many of the French kids may know, Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Its history dates back to Christopher Columbus. By 1750, Haiti was a French colony. In 1791 the Haitians slaves revolted and this struggle for their freedom dragged on for more than a decade. It ended when Napoleon declared a reinstatement of slavery on Haiti and sent an army of 20,000 trained men in 1803. Much to the world’s surprise, the slaves repelled them and by the end of 1803, Haiti finally had independence. To this day, it’s one of the few places where a slave revolt was ever successful.

However, that wasn’t the end to Haiti’s problems, it still struggles with things such as: little to no education and medical treatment, little access to clean water and most of the population is either homeless or in poverty.

So, why a fundraiser? What is this about? Madame Blain puts it plainly, “It’s about their smiling faces, their lack of education, their lack of toilets, It’s about everything.” It turns out this is Madame’s 40th anniversary from leaving for the peace corps, which changed her life. She reflects on her first moments outside this country, “It dawned on me I didn’t do anything to deserve to be born in this country. I just was.”

This was where French club came in. They have donated 100% the profits from their Crepe Sale to the Have Faith Haiti Mission.

What exactly is this mission? The mission was founded 1980s as The Caring and Sharing Mission. Following the devastating 7.0 earthquake of January, 2010, the country was in a state of disaster. 300,000 were killed and left 2.3 million people homeless and without food or water. The mission was luckily not damaged by the earthquake but was in extremely poor condition. The country itself was not in great shape before and infrastructure already in place could not stand up to the force of the earthquake that rocked the country. The 2010 earthquake destroyed most of the country and left many homeless, orphaned and starving. They have tried to recover, however with an epidemic of cholera and a recent run in with category F4 Hurricane Matthew blowing through with winds around 230 km/h in October, most of the previous efforts of recovery were undone.

Operations were taken over after the earthquake in 2010 by author Mitch Albom, a Detroit journalist, and his A Hole in The Roof Foundation. At this point the name changed to Have Faith Haiti Mission.

There are so many charities in Haiti, and many of them have footnotes detailing how maybe only 85% of what one donates goes to the actual cause. This one guarantee a 100% goes to the children, and that’s why Madame choose this one. She says, “I’ve been to the house. I’ve seen how he works and I know for a fact what we contribute will go to those children.”

The goal of the mission is to provide a safe, nurturing environment for Haitian children who do not have one. This is done through donations and sponsorship for the children. The children are cared for medically, nutritionally, educationally and spiritually. They are taught in both French and English, with a goal of achieving at least a high school diploma. Madame Blain says, “The idea is not just to feed them and to care for them and then just send them out to the elements the goal is for them to get a [high school] diploma and to go on to college.”

French Club serving Heritage Students crepes.

Her donation goal was to raise $360 from this crepe sale, which can support one child for a year medically, nutritionally, and educationally. The fundraiser over took this goal by over $240.

With the French club’s success of raising over $600 in just one sale, they have voiced that they wish to continue this yearly. They have decided to have another fundraiser in April, with the goal to donate enough to sponsor two children. They hope that this will bring back the French club traditional crepe sales from years ago and continue giving back to the community. As Madame Blain puts it, “Do I want this to end? No… I want to see this continue.” However, they are unsure if it will remain a French club project and may be open as a possible CAS project for rising juniors and sophomores.

If one wants to personally donate to this amazing charity, click here.
Also to discover more about Haiti’s current condition click here.

Junior Mina Kandelchy and Senior Ina Gjoka making crêpes.