Updated: Sep 9, 2020
As I spent time in Haiti, I became very impressed with the selflessness and giving attitude of the Haitian people, especially the children at the Foyer Coin des Cieux (FCC). I would attend church each week with Fritzner and the children at the FCC. We often sang a hymn with the lyrics, “Because I have been given much, I too must give.” I would sit in awe as I scanned the room. From my worldly view, these people had very little, yet time after time, they became examples to me of the willingness to give.
There was one Saturday in November that the teachers and a some of the children at the FCC, including Wilmy, spent the afternoon at a different orphanage playing with the kids and bringing them food from money we had raised. A few weeks later, after the rest of the teachers had left and I was spending a few days at the orphanage with Fritzner and the kids before my family arrived for Christmas, a few large packages arrived from another teacher’s family. Wilmy and some of the children gathered around as Fritzner and I unpacked the boxes that contained clothing, food, and toys for the orphanage. Through some of our conversations, many of the children also knew that presents from Santa may make an appearance on Christmas morning. The kids were so excited and one said, “This is AWESOME!”
Later that day, I walked to the market with Wilmy to get a few things before my family arrived. As we walked and talked, Wilmy (who was 11 at the time) said to me, “This Christmas is going to be SO good. We have so much stuff! We should give some of it to the kids at the other orphanage. They don’t have balls to play with or anything sweet to eat." I was taken back by the lesson this 11-year-old had just taught me. I was impressed that he noticed that the other orphanage didn’t have anything sweet and didn’t have any balls to play with. I was impressed that he felt that he had too much. I was impressed that although he had so little, he wanted to let the other orphanage have something “sweet to eat” and “balls to play with”.
Since I met Wilmy in 2017, he has changed my view of the world and everyone who has come to know him. He has been an example of selflessness, kindness, and compassion to all of us. May we all be a little more like Wilmy.
-Abby Kendall; Director of Pathways to English