I first met Granmé in Haiti three years ago when she came into a World Wide Village mobile clinic.
Granmé (the Creole word for Grandma) was blind in both eyes yet had a joyful spirit and loved her family deeply – especially her eight grandchildren.
She had been in poor health for several years and suffered from Ascites. Ascites is a build-up of fluid in the abdomen caused by either liver disease or heart failure.
Granmé’s belly would fill with fluid until it became so painful that she would need to have it drained.
Taking a trip to the hospital for treatment was very expensive. The family had to choose between providing medical care for Granmé or paying school tuition for her grandchildren.
These types of difficult family decisions are all too common in Haiti.
In her prime, Granmé was known by her family as a hard worker.
Even though she had never been to school or learned to read herself, she sold goods in the market and enjoyed her business.
“She liked to do business, but she loved people,” her youngest daughter said of Granmé. “She worked hard to send me to school, but we could only afford school tuition through 6th grade.”
While sitting with Granmé at the medical center, I remember her taking my hand and asking for my help.
She told me how it broke her heart that her grandchildren were missing school because her family needed to provide her with medical care.
She said her greatest wish was for her grandchildren to be sponsored and able to attend school.
Six months later, I was able to visit Granmé again where we celebrated that ALL of her grandchildren had been sponsored to attend school!
This is the power of sponsorship. It not only blesses a single child, but also an entire family.
Today, Sylderose, Michenaika, Wodnesky, Neyma, Lovetana, Ismaelle and Nerlie all continue school in Williamson. Joly has moved to the Dominican Republic but is attending school, as well.
They are learning and growing and thankful for their grandmother’s gift to them – an education! Even though Granmé passed away last year, she left a wonderful legacy.
Granmé’s oldest grandchild (Ismaelle) is now in 8th grade. Thanks to her wonderful sponsor, she is accomplishing something neither her grandmother nor mother had the opportunity to do – attend secondary school. Sponsorship is helping break the cycle of illiteracy and poverty in Haiti!
Please know how thankful we are for each of you who give month after month to provide an education to a child in Haiti. You are changing lives!
Learn more about sponsoring a child at: worldwidevillage.org/student-sponsorship
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