Kids Connection Haiti has grown a great deal over the last year or so. With the addition of a social worker, program participants now receive support, strategies and tools to help with their social and emotional challenges. Often growing up without a family or other support network, these students really need this. The social worker will also host life skills workshops and give one-on-one job-seeking help to those students who are about to graduate. KCH isn't in the business of simply providing funding for education. KCH is in the business of getting program participants gainfully employed and ensuring they're well-rounded, contributing members of their society. Without need for an office or vehicle and with the flexibility to send students to whatever school or institution will help them the most, KCH is changing the lives of the next generation in Haiti. This formula really works.
The efforts of everyone involved at Kids Connection Haiti, especially the students themselves, inspire me each day to do more myself each day. I've been involved with KCH since just after the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. Since then, I've seen volunteers give their heart and sole in Haiti to advance our programs in very difficult working and living conditions. I've seen others volunteering in the United States and Canada also giving their time, money and energy to a cause that has earned their respect. The students themselves overcome great adversity each day just getting to and from school in the heat and the dust and studying in their noisy and often dark neighbourhoods.
These people inspire me to keep giving myself. Many agencies and organizations offer help to the children of Haiti but KCH offers economic self-sufficiency to young adults – those who can make an immediate and real impact on the lives of their entire family in the very short term. The KCH formula shows results quickly and impacts an entire community of family and friends. When one person in a community secures employment, the entire community benefits almost immediately. I'm proud to be part of it.
Kids Connection Haiti provides very targeted support to help educate at-risk Haitian youth. A few years ago, many current KCH students did not have secure housing, food or jobs. They had few to no economic opportunities. Now, however, these same young adults are pursuing their dreams. I appreciate that KCH students have worked so hard to make their goals a reality. I also like that proceeds to KCH overwelmingly go to defray educational costs. The organization is very lean. There is no luxurious office. There is no fleet of cars. There are no exorbitant salaries. A dollar donated to KCH directly helps a student in need finish high school, vocational school or university. I firmly believe that my donations have helped these deserving people to have a more secure future.
I volunteered for KCH for 6 months in 2010-11 when the organization was establishing itself on the ground in Haiti. The work that KCH does for young adults in providing them with education and social support is exceptional, and the way that the organization works is rare. KCH puts almost its entire operating budget towards providing for the young adults in the program, and it exponentially improves the opportunities that these young adults have to succeed. I would fully recommend working with the organization in whatever capacity available.