Yolanda Thervil Foundation
Make Jesus Smile - Christmas 2007
Extracts from article in the Barbados
By Akilah Bishop compliments of the
|Over three hundred shoebox gifts,
packed by Barbadian children as well as corporate and civic
Barbados, were delivered to underprivileged children on Haiti
this Christmas. Jenny Tryhane, Founder of United Caribbean Trust,
in an interview with the Barbados Advocate, discusses the Haiti
project and her experience this Christmas in Haiti.
|The biggest problem in Port au
Prince is that rural Haiti offers little education and little
employment. It is a common finding for youth as young as ten
years old to seek employment. Sometimes they are sent to work
or sold by family to work as child labourers in Port au Prince.
They are required to work from early in the morning to late
at night. After a while these children run away and make up
the “street rat” population. These are gangs of
children who are homeless and live in dire conditions. They
are also exploited by political sectors and become armed street
|Jenny Tryhane diverted to highlight
the severity of criminal activity in Haiti. She noted that she
was told that there was some improvement with the rate of kidnapping
which has reduced from eighty kidnappings per month in December
|Jenny Tryhane went on to describe
the challenges United Caribbean Trust is faced with as it seeks
to effect the situation in rural Haiti.
|She noted that while she is conscious
of the fact that there are no over night solutions, she is hopeful
that there will be increments of change resulting in great change
for the next generation of Haitians.
The problem needs to be addressed
in rural Haiti. UCT needs to get sponsorship to educate children
in Jacmel and offer vocational training so they would not
run to Port au Prince. This is the key reason for the child
sponsorship programme, which is facilitated by the shoebox
project- the conduit into Haiti.
Seen here an orphan in the Bon Repos orphanage
holding the card sent to them by the children of the Caribbean
Development Bank After School Club.
Below the children receiving their Make
Jesus Smile shoeboxes.
|When we go in with the shoeboxes
it offers an opportunity to photograph and document children.
Of course, it is an opportunity for children in Barbados to
share, give and experience the true reason for Christmas.”
She added, “The long term objective is the child sponsorship
with is US$30 a month. The thirty dollars is subdivided into
education, family empowerment, and after school club”,
It was not an easy journey for the shoebox project,
as it took many months of preparation and soliciting assistance.
There are also a number of people Tryhane noted played an integral
part in the Christmas project and she expressed sincere appreciation
for their assistance.
"It was a struggle to get boxes to Haiti. We are so grateful
to Amerijet who gave us a fifty- percent discount and to Big P Packaging
and Brokerage for handling everything free of cost. I am also extremely
thankful to General Distributors for donating toothbrushes, Stokes
and Bynoe for donating the soap, SBI Distribution for donating the
toothpaste, Brydens for donating the pens CCC for hundreds of sweets
and Laurie Dash for the hundreds of balloons".
In addition, the struggle continued after they arrived in Haiti
as Jenny explained, "We had a serious challenge getting the
boxes out of customs in Haiti. In took four days back and forth
from customs to get the boxes out. Bare in mind it takes four hours
to get there!"
All the hard work and struggles paid off as Jenny noted with
“We had three wonderful Christmas parties in Jacmel.
We had a programme with skits, drama etcetera. We also fed
approximately four hundred people in Jacmel at the Christmas
She also expressed special thanks
to all the children of Barbados who helped packed shoeboxes
as well as civic, corporate Barbados and all those who contributed
financially and as helping hands.
Seen here the Pre Primay children from