If you have read the news about Haiti in the past few months, you have read of a brutal Presidential assassination, a devastating 7.2 earthquake and terrorizing gang violence. If you have dug deeper in the news, you may also have read about countless kidnappings for ransom, damaging fuel shortages, and very few COVID vaccines. All hope would seem lost for the nation of Haiti. Am I right? No, you are wrong. Dead wrong. You are forgetting about hope.
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”Desmund Tutu
I believe that we are keenly aware of how much we need hope when we find ourselves in desperate circumstances. Millions of people around the world cling to hope every day, against all odds, living alongside dire circumstances. At a virtual Haiti staff meeting in May, I proposed that we should pause the seminars because of the violence and lack of safety on the streets due to turf wars among gangs. Their response was simple – no, this is daily life. Without making a conscious decision to be hopeful, they emanate hope, knowing they will face challenges. They are not swallowed up by the darkness. They are present alongside the situations that are out of their control. They are able to see that there is light.
Over this past academic year, aspiring toward the goal to train more than 6000 school leaders and teachers by 2024, the Haiti staff was determined to host seminars. In collaboration, staff, facilitators and school leaders all agreed to press on. Through 2020-2021, TTT trained a record-breaking 1350 participants! If I could add evidence of hope alongside the tragedies that the country of Haiti has experienced this past year, it would read something like this…
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.”Martin Luther King, Jr.
To Joelle, Jean Marc, Marie Sonnie and our dedicated Facilitators – May TTT continue to be a light in darkness for underserved school leaders and teachers in Haiti, knowing that our greatest hope is the truth that God is light and there is no darkness in Him at all.
Beth is the President of Teaching Training Together, an organization based in Burlington, Massachusetts, that provides initial training through professional development seminars to underserved school leaders and teachers.