By Jean-Wickens Merone
A summer sunshine reflecting on his bony face, Doudensky is actually more energetic than he appears to be. Sitting in front of the two-sided mud shack where he lives, the seven years-old boy has a concern at the moment of the interview though. “I can’t wait for school resume so I can eat everyday”. Doudensky attends second grade at an evangelical school in his town of Cerca Cavajal. There, students are served a meal during break time thanks to a World Food Programme that is managed by World Vision.
‘’Each school enrolled receives rice, beans, iodized salt and vegetable oil at an average of 0,165 kg per child’’, says Stephania Noel who has been with World Vision Haiti for four years as a school feeding coordinator.
‘’Often the food at school is the only meal I have for the day’’, declares Doudensky through a voice tinged with emotion while looking at his father and other members of the family surrounding him.
“I feel very bad about that’’ confesses Doudensky’s father, Julien, 53. But there is not “Much” I can do, he continues with his eyes flooded by deep emotions. Ever since Julien is a grown up person he has been growing maize, beans and bananas to provide food for his family. “Now it’s tough”, he says.
‘’During the dry season things get worst’’, complains the father of eight.
‘’Sometimes I save half of my food at school that I bring home and share”, testifies Doudensky before his 23 years-old sister Djepha adds “ Because of money food is an issue in my community”.
Most people grow crops but due to irrigation the harvests are poor or even destroyed during heavy rains followed by inundations.
The school feeding programme is very helpful in communities like where Doudensky and his family live. “There are more registrations in the 269 schools enrolled in the programme”, according to Stephania Noel. “And children stay in class too”, she admits.
Not just for the meal of the day that is secured, Doudensky feels motivated to go to school because he has a dream. “I would like to become a catholic priest”, he wishes. This desire was born since the day the little boy received the sacrament of baptism at the church located in his town.
“If this is God will I strongly wish he fulfill his dream”, concludes Julien while opening his arms. There is a long way to go before Doudensky happens to wear the cassock. At least there is one thing he is sure about. The seven years-old who is fascinated by reading and writing is in love with school as time goes by.