09 October, 2014

Help a Haitian get an Education

This is Wilner Rébéca, Wood to his friends. Wood is 25 years old and lives in Anse-a-Pitres, a large village on the south-east coast of Haiti on the border with the Dominican Republic. He speaks Creole, French, English and some Spanish and is a super positive, friendly guy.

Here in Anse-à-Pitres the houses are woven shacks clothed with rags or clay, the occasional unfinished concrete structure making an appearance. Water comes via a concrete channel which splits evermore scarcely and is dammed by rancid clothes and leaves. Food is, more often than not, US supplied rice and beans with a smattering of vegetables. Money earnt at sunrise is spent by sunset. In short - Haiti is a trap.

Until two years ago all Wood wanted was a way out: "Haiti is a poor country and there are no jobs here. When I am old and I can't work physical jobs anymore, what will I do?" 

But now he has a different stance: "To leave Haiti would be like seeing someone starting a fire, a fire which will harm many people, and just walking away." Wood wants to give back and help his people because, as he rightly says, Haiti has a lot of problems. His aim is to help through law, and for this he needs a degree.

His university of choice is in the capital, Port au Prince and the cost is 20,000 pesos a year, around £260, and he will need to cover the costs of supplies and transport. So we need to raise £400 per year to send him to university. And yet the ability to earn that kind of money here is extremely difficult. To do so whilst attending school every morning and studying at night - an impossibility. I am, with your help, going to get Wood to university.

I have never been one to mindlessly promote things I don't fully condone. The fact that I'm writing this is proof that I completely trust and believe in this man. He is undoubtedly very intelligent, we are the same age, and yet he is being held back only by the circumstances he was born into.

Yes, it's only one person. Yes, the problems are huge and far reaching here. But every journey starts with a single step and I won't be cowed by the bigger picture. I'm not asking for huge donations, I'm aware that people are barraged with monetary requests these days, but understand this : If everyone who reads this gives between £2-3 we can fund Wood through four years of law school.

How amazing would that be, what we could achieve together! An amount of money which can't even get you a cup of decent coffee in England will transform this man into a lawyer. A lawyer who can change things here. 


1 comment :

  1. Hi Douglas,

    Just read your interview in Cycling Plus. Can see you feel as you do as UC Nantes appear to be no help when form dips.

    very best wishes