Haiti Update - June/July 2013

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

“Want to Change the World? Sponsor a Child. Now there’s proof that it works! This was the title of the lead article in the June, 2013 issue of Christianity Today. What we at Double Harvest and other organizations have long believed and practiced was highlighted by the article’s tagline: “A top economist shares the astounding news about that little picture hanging on your refrigerator.” The author, Bruce Wydick, is professor of economics and international studies at the University of San Francisco, and was frequently asked: “What can an ordinary person like me to do to help the poor?” His standard answer: “Perhaps sponsor a child?”

imageFor him, it seemed to make sense: “By focusing on the youth instead of adults, it aims to nip poverty in the bud, providing children in the developing world access to education, health services, and, in some programs, spiritual guidance.” But he wasn’t sure whether it really worked. His educational dissatisfaction got the better of him so he, along with his grad students and grant money, embarked on a scientific study on the impact of sponsorship in various countries of the world. The results surprised them all!! Not to bore you with the statistical percentages, children who are sponsored scored high in multiple categories. They were most likely to…complete secondary and university education, obtain a salaried or white color job, and grow up to be both community and church leaders.

What further surprised Dr. Wydick was the response of the leader of a large sponsoring agency. He suspected something was going on beyond “data analysis and positive causal effects”. The leader’s response: “Try Hope! Poverty causes children to have very low self-esteem, low aspirations. The big difference that sponsorship makes is that it expands children’s views about their own possibilities and aspirations. This spark of increased hopefulness can impact families and the community.”

imageChristian organizations have championed sponsorship for decades, and now there is proof that it is indeed the key factor in helping children escape poverty. While the central focus of Double Harvest is agriculture and related projects, the tandem ministries of education and health care together address the poverty that pervades Haiti. At our school, we also believe the added dimension of spiritual nurturing impacts character and moral development, and brings meaning to this life and the life to come. For all you sponsors reading this: “Thank you for your investment (for that’s what it is) in your student’s life! May your prayers follow your gifts. Encourage your friends and relatives to follow your example. Send them to our website to read more about sponsoring and about our school. Perhaps you or they might also be interested in a one-time gift for our “Computer Lab Project”.

Vernon Giesbrecht
N. A. Coordinator