|Meeting Innocent Pierre and her family.|
Meeting the Pierre family was heart-breaking. When we started asking questions about the family of five, we learned that four of the family members were siblings. The fifth family member is the daughter of the oldest sibling, Innocent, who is twenty-two. Their mother died when they were young, and their father, who had been sick, died last February.
The Pierre family had been renting a house. After their father’s death, they had nothing and were twenty-two days from being thrown out. Normally, it takes Food for the Poor (FFP) about twenty-eight days to build a house. However, under the circumstances, FFP accelerated the process and finished the house in nineteen days, leaving them three days to move in. The family has a difficult time understanding that the house actually belongs to them. They are just thankful for a place to stay.
|Innocent Pierre with her daughter and three siblings. Innocent and her oldest sister care for the others as they all grieve the loss of their father.|
|The Pierre's sparsely furnished living room. In the background, we check out one of the two small bedrooms.|
Innocent and her nineteen year old sister care for their eleven and twelve year old siblings and Innocent’s daughter. Innocent is not in school. Her oldest sister attends school and wants to become a nurse. Their younger brother wants to become a doctor. I suspect that watching their father get sick and die, has something to do with their choice of professions. Having watched my mom battle cancer and lose, I understand how helpless that can feel. It is probably worse, if you don’t have the funds to see a doctor or even attempt treatment.
For most Haitians, daily life is difficult. The struggle to survive doesn’t wait for family members to grieve the loss of a loved one. Fortunately for the Pierre’s, their local pastor helps them financially so they have food to eat and so the children can attend school. Also, by providing a home and—in the months to come—a way to sustain themselves, the Village of Joy offers them hope for a better future.