Back in 2009, we received a call from a girls orphanage. They were desperately searching for a solution for a street boy in their
community named Jerry. Jerry was probably about 8 years old at the time and he had been living on his own, on the streets for about the previous 6 months. It was immediately clear that
Jerry had a rough start in life, and that those experiences scarred some deep emotional places in his soul.
Because of his early childhood trauma, life with Jerry has been a challenge for the past seven years. He never had any schooling prior to
coming to live in the foster home and so two years were spent with private tutors trying to get him caught up. We learned during that time that academic learning does not come easily to Jerry,
and so we were able to get him enrolled in a school for children with special needs. However, after a year and half of discipline problems at school, he was expelled. He spent the next
couple of years with a private tutor again, and then, last year Jerry was enrolled into a national school. He started at grade 3 and after completing his first year, we were informed he was not
welcome to return. We were able to find another school to accept him, but we continue to have similar problems.
Because of safety issues, we moved Jerry into a Haitian foster family in the community a few years back. This family has put in a lot of
effort trying to support Jerry. His foster dad is a teacher and is able to give Jerry extra help with school work. But Jerry does not make it easy.
Because of his history as a street kid, Jerry is drawn to a rough crowd. He has a deep longing to be accepted, and so he will do anything
to please the kids who are his "friends." This includes (but is not limited to) lying, stealing, fighting,bullying, and sneaking out.
As you read this profile, I am sure you are scratching your head and thinking, isn't there ANYTHING positive you can say about him? Sure, there
are plenty of good things-- he is a fiercely loyal friend, he is excellent with little kids, he is playful and enjoys playing soccer and flying kids, he is artistic and creative. But
people often do not get the chance to experience these attributes because of the hard shell he has around him at all times.
Here's why we have stuck with Jerry this long. First, Jerry's struggles are as a result of early childhood trauma. It's not
something he can necessarily control all the time. Life dealt him a really difficult set of circumstances from which he has not been able to recover. Second, there really are no other
options for him that we are aware of. (And we have looked.) Social services has told us that they will not try to place him in another orphanage or foster home. That means his
option is living on the street. We would like to avoid that if it is possible. And finally, kids like Jerry are the reason we believe foster care is a need in Haiti. And so we will
continue as long as he decides to keep walking with us as we search for a solution.
If you would like to help sponsor Jerry, please visit our donation page and sign up for a monthly donation of at least $32.00. (Please designate Foster Care, Jerry.) Once you're enrolled, we
will mail you a recent picture of Jerry, and give you access instructions to a private Facebook page for his donors only. On this page, you will see some pics of day-to-day life, hear little
stories about Jerry as they happen, and even be able to ask questions.
Sponsorship donations are tax deductible in both the US and in Canada!
If you have more questions, please feel free to email the Mangines at firstname.lastname@example.org.