Former President Bill Clinton recently visited a school operated by Catholic nuns in Haiti where children are educated to break the cycle of poverty that entrap families for generations.
Clinton visited Marguerite Naseau school, which is sponsored by the Christian organization Food For the Poor, in Cite Soleil, Haiti, on March 9. During his visit, he reminded students that Haiti was once the richest island in the Caribbean.
"[B]ecause of the natural resources, because of what God had put into the land. It can be again, because of the resources in your mind and in your heart," the former U.S. president said, according to Food For the Poor.
Haiti has been plagued by civil unrest and extreme economic and political instability for most of its history. According to the U.N. Girls' Education Initiative, some 60 percent of rural households suffer from chronic food insecurity, while 20 percent are considered extremely vulnerable.
At the Marguerite Naseau compound, there are many programs to help vulnerable children and mothers, including a school feeding program, women's training center, nutrition center and clinic.
"The Sisters of Charity do a wonderful job to make Marguerite Naseau school a beautiful place in the midst of so much ugliness," says Angel Aloma, the executive director of Food For The Poor.
"In Cité Soleil there have been many years of violence and unrest," he noted. "This school has remained a fortress to the glory of God in the midst of despair."
Each month, Food For The Poor provides assistance to the school to pay teachers' salaries. It also frequently donates food, sewing machines, school supplies and medical supplies to the local ministry.
With the resources, Marguerite Naseau's nutrition center has helped mothers nurture their malnourished children, often near death, back to good health. The program teaches mothers how to properly care for their children's nutrition and hygiene. The affiliated clinic, meanwhile, helps provide medical attention and medications to individuals who could not otherwise afford healthcare.
Food For The Poor is one the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation. It helps feed millions of the hungry and poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. Also, the ministry provides clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and emergency relief to the needy. More than 96 percent of all donations go directly to programs that help the poor.