per·se·ver·ance | \\ ˌpər-sə-ˈvir-ən(t)s \\
: continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition
Perseverance is one word that can describe each of the students from the WWV Sponsorship Program who graduated in 2022. It is a trait that is required for students in rural Haiti as statistics show that more than 2/3 of students will drop out before their senior year. We are thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of these students and share with you their stories of perseverance!
Evilson (pronounced Eh-veel-son) grew up in the countryside above Williamson. His mother and father farmed the land and Evilson attended primary school. Evilson loved school, but tragedy struck when his father unexpectedly passed away.
“My father passed away when I was in 5th grade. After my father passed away, I didn’t think I would make it all the way to Philo (senior year of high school).”
To add to Evilson’s struggles, there are no secondary schools available in the countryside. In order to continue in school, Evilson needed to move to Williamson. His mother’s small job farming the land didn’t earn enough to provide for Evilson’s school needs and housing.
When he decided to move to Williamson to attend school, Evilson had to provide for himself. He learned to sew school uniforms as a freshman in high school at the WWV sewing center so he could afford food and housing. Sponsorship helped Evilson continue in school without the burden of paying tuition. It was a blessing beyond his hopes and dreams!
Evilson is an outstanding young man. He’s a leader in his local church and sings in the choir. Thanks to sponsorship and his own perseverance, Evilson is now one step closer to achieving his dream of becoming a doctor.
“I would like to thank God and thank my sponsor. When I was younger, I was thinking about dropping out of school because I couldn’t afford it. Today I am finishing Philo because of the support of World Wide Village and my sponsor.”
Chrismene is the oldest sister of four younger brothers. Growing up, Chrismene was obligated to take turns going to school because her family struggled with poverty and could not afford to send all the children at one time.
Being the oldest girl, Chrismene often sacrificed for her younger brothers. Yet through perseverance, she never gave up her goal of finishing high school.
Five years ago, Chrismene was selected for the sponsorship program after her family lost everything due to violent land disputes in a neighboring community.
Now 28 years old, Chrismene just graduated high school! She hopes to attend nursing school and become a first responder.
“I would like to thank my sponsor so much for all of her support throughout the years. Sponsorship helped me a lot because I didn’t have the means to pay for school and my sponsor provided the means for me to finish school.”
Markenlove is the definition of perseverance.
“My mother passed away when I was in 6th grade and I’ve never met my father. I was living in La Gonave (a small island off the coast of Haiti) when my mother died and I had no one to support me. My mother’s friend referred me to Williamson because of the World Wide Village Sponsorship Program.”
When Markenlove arrived in Williamson, God not only blessed him with a sponsorship and caring community, but also a best friend. Markenlove and his best friend (Ysmarck) studied together, attended church together, worked odd jobs to make money together, and the two became roommates.
With the help of continued sponsorship, Ysmarck and Markenlove plan to enroll in college together. They know it won’t be easy but together they can accomplish so much!
“I don’t come from a very rich family. I moved to Williamson [from the mountains] to pursue education in 7th grade… Ever since then I’ve been in the sponsorship program.”
Ysmarck’s parents live in the mountains above Williamson – an area of Haiti with no secondary schools. Ysmarck’s father is a pastor and prays for his son often.
In order to continue in school past 6th grade, Ysmarck moved to Williamson where his family rented a room for him to live near the school. The added cost of housing on top of school tuition was financially very difficult for Ysmarck’s family.
Sponsorship provided the only means for Ysmarck to finish school.
While in school, Ysmarck became best of friends with Markenlove Blanc – another student in the sponsorship program. The two young men have challenged each other in their studies and have become a great support for one another.
They hope to attend college together in the fall and continue their education!
Clara is 21 years old and is very proud of her accomplishments. She started school as a young girl with other students her age, but she has watched as year after year many have dropped out of school.
“Finishing school is something that everybody wants to do, but many of my friends have not had the opportunity. Some have financial struggles that hinder them from continuing in school. Some become pregnant and cannot continue. For me, I put in my mind that I wanted to finish school and continue my studies. By the grace of God, I finished Philo!”
Clara was sponsored after her father passed away several years ago, and she is grateful.
Continuing in school after her father passed away would have been nearly impossible without the gift of sponsorship. “I would like to thank my sponsor so much for choosing me because they could have chosen anyone.”
Clara hopes to study pharmacy as she continues her education in nursing.
Katiana comes from a large family. Both her mother and father are very supportive, but her father struggles with health problems.
When he’s been unable to work because of illness, the family has had a hard time making ends meet.
During these more difficult times, Katiana’s mother would boil salt water to drink. It would help Katiana and her siblings not feel their hunger before they could eat lunch at school.
A sponsorship not only provided Katiana with the chance at an education, but also school lunches.
‘Sak vid pa kanpe’ – an empty sack cannot stand!
Being the first in her family to finish high school, Katiana plans to continue her education at the World Wide Village sewing center. She knows this new vocation will help provide for her family and bring in a stable income.
She will also be able to sew new school uniforms for her younger siblings as they also continue in school thanks to sponsorship!
Seven other WWV sponsored students also graduated from high school in 2022. As these students continue their education in college or go on to join the workforce, they know that their lives have been forever changed thanks to the generosity of their sponsor.
A special thanks to all of our tremendous sponsors for your ongoing generosity month after month. You are making stories like these possible!
If you want to change the life of a child in Haiti, consider becoming a sponsor! For only $32 per month you can give a special child the opportunity to persevere and have a brighter future! Learn more about sponsorship at: worldwidevillage.org/student-sponsorship.