Saturday, February 13, 2010

Project Pierre Toussaint

The lesson still is chalked on the blackboard in the deserted classroom. "Odette bought 19 pineapples," the French scrawl reads. Outside, knee-high prairie grass grows over the walkways. Rodents and insects scurry about the 10-acre compound, their only companions the roaming security guards with pump-action shotguns who are paid to discourage human intruders.

The Village is deserted now. But not long ago, a large iron gate would open here every morning, allowing 100 or so orphaned and abandoned boys to enter this refuge, a place to bathe and eat and learn, an escape from a life of beatings and hunger. The Village was one of three compounds that made up Project Pierre Toussaint, a program designed to give a future to boys who had none.

These days, the boys are back in the streets of this city of 180,000, Haiti's second-largest, living by their wits, begging for handouts, dodging thugs, sleeping in dirty alleyways and on flat roofs.

Link (here) to the full story.


Maria said...

"Doug did not have to answer to anyone," he (Joseph Excellent, a teacher at the school) said.

Anonymous said...

Maria, Maria on this blog we all know a girl called Maria.

Why doesn't she shut up?

Why doesn't she grow up?