Stability engenders success!
NPH Haiti youth credits NPH sponsors and staff with enabling to reach for his dreams.
February 20, 2019 - New Zealand
Gonel was born in Anse-A-Foleur, Haiti. At the age of just three, he left his parents home after his father passed away, and his mother came to the sad realization that the financial circumstances and social poverty raging through her community would be too much for her to adequately raise her son. She contacted her sister-in-law for help for Gonel and his two siblings.
Gonel’s aunt was working at St. Damien’s hospital, which was at that time a hospice at Petion-ville. Gonel’s aunt struggled, too; few in Haiti can escape the financial crises or poverty. His aunt reached out the NPH, and Gonel and his older brother joined our St. Helen home in Kenscoff.
Gonel entered our NPH family in 2000, and spent 11 years at St. Helen. In 2011, he left upon graduating from 9th grade, and moved into the Don Bosco program, which supports high school and university students in the city with rent and other needed goods or funds.
When remembering his first days and weeks at St. Helen, he says “I found myself living with a lot of new children; I remember saying ‘It seems I have a new family!’ The way we lived in the home, all of us being together, gave me strength.”
“Growing up at NPH, my favorite food was rice, smashed beans and vegetables. And since I left St. Helen, I miss my roommates, miss my sports team, and miss my colleagues. When we all lived together, it was easy to meet and find time to chat.”
Currently, Gonel is 23 years old and studies Business Administration. His dream is “to go back to where I was born to do business and help the people there to develop our neighborhood.”
Gonel has learned at lot from his time at NPH, but of note stands “the importance of family for the children. I learned that children have dreams, but they need someone to back them up to achieve them. Education is the best thing for a child to develop their skills in this part of the word.”
“My favorite memory at NPH is Christmas time, this when we received gifts and participated at the home’s activities. What I like at NPH is education and living all together as family.”
Family is important to Gonel. He defines it as a “place where children feel safe, receive love, can be educated and can relax.”
Gonel has come a long way since joining NPH, and has big plans for the future. But for the new year, “My goal for 2019 is to speak English, have good grades at my university and begin a reading club at school.”
Gonel says thank you to all of his caregivers at NPH, who treated him like their own child, and also thanks the international NPH family, who helps everyone at NPH Haiti with school, food, clothes, and healthcare.
Gonel concludes, thanking anyone who has supported NPH throughout his journey. "Today I can say I am studying at university is because of your help. My mother was not able to even feed us, not to mention pay for school. All of the goals I have achieved are because of good people like you. May God keep blessing each of you for such as the great job that you are doing for our family."
Acting Director, NPH New Zealand