Children’s Academy Dedication speech from friend and colleague, Camille Antenor
Mèt Antenor promoting the importance of education
Camille (Mèt) Antenor is a retired primary school principal and community leader in Baocia, where the Children’s Academy is located. Co-Founder John Engle has known him for over 15 years. He’s a good friend, is on the Children’s Academy School Committee, and has provided much important guidance over the years.
*This past Thursday, March 7, Mèt Antenor suffered a serious stroke. He was rushed to a local hospital, and remains there in serious condition. Please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.
Speech by Mèt Antenor at Children’s Academy Dedication
February 24, 2013
February 24, 2013 is a date we can never forget in the history of the education of our children in Baocia and the other areas in the fourth section of Bellevue Lamontagne, Petionville.
The dedication of the first Children’s Academy and Learning Center building is a symbol of hope for the future of many children in the country of Haiti. As they say in French, “Education is a treasure; education is the key.” As a student of education, I would say that education is an inexhaustible treasure. When you know how to read and write, when you know how to do things with your hands and your mind, when you have professional and intellectual knowledge, they serve you until the end of your days.
The overarching goal of the Children’s Academy is to prepare children for life, which includes equipping them to be of service to their own country and even to the world. I want to provide a comparison for parents of students at the Children’s Academy.
I have two plants, one in each of my palms. One is always watered, the other never receives water. The one that is watered grows into a large tree and bears fruit. This is the child whose parents sent them to school and who contributed to their learning and development ever since they were small. These parents make sure that their child is on track to gain knowledge and expertise that enable them to make and living and to become a good citizen.
The plant that receives no water never grows. This plant represents children of parents who do not send them to school, who allow them to be left behind. These children often become delinquent and even criminals. They are not able to help themselves nor their parents. When these children become adults, they survive off of the charity of others.
We hope that one day the students at the Children’s Academy go on to help other children who live in poor conditions all over the world as well as right here in Haiti.
Long live the Children’s Academy mission for better education.