Learning for Life: Marvens’ Story
“I’m proud to be at a school where I’m learning things that are helping me to have a better life and a better future.”
~ Marvens, Children’s Academy 5th grader
We want to share with you a story of hope in the midst of the continued strife and extreme hardship in Haiti. It’s a story about Marvens, a joyfully inspiring fifth grader and member of the Class of 2028 at our Children’s Academy and Learning Center.
Marvens was among our first 25 students when we opened the Children’s Academy in September of 2012. He loves to play and have fun, but he also loves to learn and apply himself. He has alway been a strong student, but recently he especially impressed us with his burgeoning entrepreneurial spirit.
Marvens receives a very small allowance from his family for chores like fetching water, taking care of livestock and gathering wood for cooking. Drawing on what he learned at the Children’s Academy about permaculture gardening and saving through the Village Saving and Loan (VSL) program, Marvens devised a plan. First, he put his allowance toward improving his home garden. Then he carefully tended his garden until he was able to sell the harvest. He then took the proceeds from this and bought a goat. He then continued to invest his allowance into the VSL, eventually saving enough to purchase a second goat.
Goats are a very smart investment in Haiti because once they have kids, Marvens can multiply the value of his initial investment. Marvens recently shared his reflections after using his savings to purchase the second goat:
When my class started a village savings and loan group two years ago when we were in 3rd grade, it was new and a bit strange. We kids had participated in weekly meetings with our parents and saw how they gave their money to be saved and how they made decisions about making loans to each other. This was great!
Words fail to express our gratitude to our supporters. We’ve invested our lives in helping Haitians change Haiti through education. We are profoundly encouraged by the work taking place at the Children’s Academy and our six partner schools where 1273 students are enrolled. Thanks to our supporters, we are creating a new model of education where parents are engaged in lifelong learning and students are actively co-creating their future together with them.
Thank you for supporting Marvens and the many inspiring students like him.