“Smile, Honey!” I encouraged, lifting my camera to take a picture.
Have you ever thought to yourself, “who taught me to smile?” No, me neither! Something just tickles inside and suddenly I beam a bright smile. I thought everyone did that.
Sure, those that are shy probably don’t share those sunny smiles as often as the rest of us, at least in public. But the capability is there in all of us. At least that is what I thought.
Working with the children in Haiti was so rewarding. Gaining their trust was slow because they are very shy and timid around new people, especially the “blancs”. That’s what they called us and granted I would be suspicious too if I had never seen a white person before.
But, I came prepared. “Pinterest” showed me a cute trick with a girl’s headband. Using a red stretchy headband, add 2 googly eyes, an orange nose and “voila” there you have a likeness of Elmo sitting right there on your camera lens. I thought the kids would love it.
Well, I had a teeny tiny problem with that assumption. I didn’t stop to think that Elmo probably wasn’t being beamed into that remote little village for all the kids to see so that strange little face on my camera was not as intriguing as I had hoped.
But still, the kids did stop to take a look and eventually to let me take a picture of them.
The day we opened the enrollment process the porch and front yard was filled with kids and their families wanting a chance to go to school. So much hope and happiness that they could at least be a part of the process in hopes for sponsorships in the future.
They marched through the process without much trouble until they came to me. It was time to stand by the door for a picture for their files. Most all of them looked down at their shoes too afraid to look up. So we played a little with each one, showed them how to stand and then asked them to smile.
After a little cajoling most of them gave a small shy smile but some didn’t seem to understand what we were wanting.
Finally it dawned on me, they did not know how to smile. I have never seen a child that did not know what muscles to use to smile. How is that possible? Those that did not know how to smile would drop their lower lip so that they would show some teeth. That was their smile.
It made my heart heavy to think that life is so hard and the reasons to smile so few that these children did not know how to smile. How can that be?
Going to school would be a reason to smile and for those who have not learned, an education will help to improve not only their life but the lives of their families. All children deserve a chance in life, you could be a part of that process.
It doesn’t take much. $35 a month is so little in my world but such a big deal in their world. Let’s give the children a reason to smile!
The child I have featured in this story is Chemara Eustache.
Chemara really wants to go to school. Inside, this little boy has a desire to become somebody; a doctor, an accountant, or perhaps a teacher. All children come with those dreams. Let’s make his dream come true and put a big smile on that sweet little face!
If you wish to sponsor Chemara, let me know. A comment in response to this post would do it or you can go to the www.childrenforanewhaiti.org website. When you fill out the sponsorship forms, don’t forget to put Chemara’s name on the form so we can make sure everything comes together. And thank you for considering making this little boy”s dream of going to school come true.
Other children are available and are eagerly waiting to attend school. “Children for a New Haiti” information is on our website www.childrenforanewhaiti.org and also we are on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/ChildrenforaNewHaiti. Please look us up and learn what you can do to make a difference for the children of Haiti.