World Vision’s Promise Packs bring smiles to innocent faces

Located a few miles from Mirebalais, the layout of the space at is intended to facilitate the well-being of children and allow their full development. It is unusual to see this kind of school—with large classrooms, a cafeteria, clean toilets, an infirmary, a computer lab, a small garden and large playgrounds—in a rural community in Haiti.

Despite the excellent facilities that would make some Haitians say: “L’Ecole de Choix is for rich families,” the school primarily serves children living in conditions of extreme poverty. At L’Ecole de Choix, many unexpected opportunities are offered to vulnerable children from poor families and communities.

Educational methods used at the school allow children to express themselves easily in various subjects and enjoy their childhood. In addition to studying a traditional curriculum, students learn many diverse subjects such as art, technology and games. Furthermore, they also learn in three languages: Creole, French and English.

While students receive much attention from the school principal, Dr. Mary Clisbee, and the staff, many experience struggles at homes, as things are not easy for their families. Several students testified that they had never been to school before World Vision sponsored them. Others said that L’Ecole de Choix is the best school they have ever attended, and exclaimed that they love it.

In view of the school and the remarkable conditions it provides to its students, it seemed that a World Vision Promise Pack distribution of pencils, drawing books, notebooks and backpacks would probably leave the students indifferent. On the contrary, the children’s laughter and exclamations such as: “Ahhh! Ohhh! Wowww,” as well as expressions of “thanks” combined with large smiles to express appreciation for these gifts beyond expectations.

“This is the first time I have received all of these beautiful things at once. Wow! I am very happy,” said Merline, 10, who is currently a student in 4th grade. Merline, who wants to become a nurse, enjoyed her backpack, toothbrush and toothpaste: “Sometimes, my parents buy a new toothpaste tube only when the one we use at home is completely empty. At least, this one is for me, so I will better monitor it,” she said with a loud laugh. After reading her sponsor’s name on her note card, she said thank you to all the donors who made it possible.

Mislie, 10, a cheerful little girl in 4th grade who speaks three languages, dreams of becoming a police officer. “I want to bring order in the country,” she said with seriousness. “I love discipline, and I know that I will be strong enough to run after robbers.” She spoke lovingly about her school: “I love my school and my teacher, Mr. Leonard. Now, I can add, multiply and read; I learned a lot here!” She went on to brag about the Promise Pack distribution, “I love each little thing I received this morning. I’ve never received these things before, and it’s because I am a student of this school that I am lucky to benefit from the distribution.” In closing, she thanked God for what she received and sent a huge “Thank You” to World Vision in English.

Kattie and Ronalson, 10-year-old classmates of Merline and Mislie, did stop jumping for joy after receiving Promise Packs. “I love this school. It is much better than others. If I were in another school, I would never receive these things,” said Katie. “I thank World Vision, the American corporation and Josiah (my sponsor) with all of my heart!”

Ronalson admitted that was surprised to receive a backpack filled with useful things: “I would never imagine this. This is a nice surprise.” He went on to stress how the generous gift will impact not only the students, but their families as well. “I think that all of the students are happy, and our parents will be very happy too. I don’t think that they could afford these things. If they could, they would have already bought them,” he stressed. “It is really nice to receive these gifts from World Vision. Thank you World Vision.”

Ione Cassens, a school staff member shared in the children’s joy: “The World Vision distribution brought so many smiles to our students; it was so good to see that.” She expressed her gratitude: “We thank you sincerely for the important items your organization has contributed.”

This Promise Pack distribution proved that surprises always have great impacts which are very positive for children. Beyond all of these words, the smiling faces of all the students express more than the value of the gifts. From the kindergarten children, to those in 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades, up to the oldest in 4th grade, the pictures capture the positive effects that were made possible by World Vision and an American corporation: excitement, happiness, good moods and satisfaction!