During the week of February 14-21, 14 students and five faculty from Covenant Day School in Matthews, NC traveled to Les Cayes, Haiti to serve with El Shaddai ministries in local orphanages. El Shaddai oversees 12 orphanages and over 2000 orphans. Most of the kids are seeking refuge from the poverty that permeates this beautiful island and some have lost their parents in recent devastating hurricanes. While there we spent time painting, doing crafts, singing songs with the kids, and playing a lot of soccer under the hot Haitian sun.
Thanks to donations from PeacePassers, we were able to supply uniforms to all the kids at Cambry orphanage and soccer equipment to seven different orphanages! Any initial anxiety about our ability to communicate were dispelled shortly after our arrival at Cambry, when a little boy approached, noticed our soccer gear, and made a kicking motion with his foot and pointed at the soccer field. It truly is a universal game and being able to share in it brought joy to both the orphans and us!
In every orphanage that we visited the kids had literally nothing of their very own, so it was overwhelming to see their excitement and gratitude at receiving uniforms of their own. The orphanages had “fields” ranging from grass to dirt to gravel, but at every one there was some sort of goal, whether it was made of wood, sticks, or stones. This was a powerful illustration of the simple joy that soccer can bring even in the most dire circumstances. Pulling a PeacePassers ball out of the bag never failed to cause a huge throng of kids to congregate in anticipation of playing. Many thanks to PeacePassers, North Meck Soccer Club, and Charlotte Jr. Soccer for providing us the means to bring a little joy into the lives of hundreds of kids in Haiti!
PeacePasser Volunteer Kari Cope