A 16-year-old boy talks about the peace he has found at NPH and his hopes for his life afterwards. October 15, 2018 - Haiti
Verguens at NPH Haiti's flagship home, St. Helene
Meet Verguens,* a sixteen-year-old boy in 9th grade from Delmas 2, a town in Port-au-Prince near the Cite Soleil. Verguens has seven siblings, of which he is the oldest. He joined NPH Haiti with his two youngest brothers, Neslin* and Pascal,* after their parents passed away from diseases following the devastating earthquake of 2010.
They lived, for a while, with their older siblings – but after a time, the older sister, burdened with work of her own to support the family, realized she needed to search for a place where her youngest brothers could have a better and safer future. She found NPH, and we warmly welcomed the three young boys into their new, second family, up in the mountains in Kenscoff.
When Verguens joined NPH, he did not bring much school experience from his life before. Now, after completing kindergarten through 9th grade, he will graduate and leave the home to continue his high school and university studies outside of our home, but always with our encouragement, care, and emotional, material, and financial support, to ensure he has a good place to live and money to enroll in all of his classes. When he finishes school his dream is to become a mechanical engineer.
Verguens shares about the violence and insecurity that was present in his old neighborhood – where he could often hear gunshots or robberies as they were happening. Living under tents in that area, he did not feel safe or confident about his chances at a future. “If I was still living at the area where I am from, I could already be dead or involved in the bad things that happen almost every day. But since coming to live at NPH Haiti, I feel safe here. I have good friend and new relationships; I am playing; I never hear violence outside anymore. My best friend is Eseye*, we always support one other by encouraging each other in classes and practicing English together.”
Verguens described peace as place where there is not much present to bother him, a place where he is living without any worry and a place where he can think and relax. According to Verguens “The best place to find peace is when I stay in my bed for a time, to relax. In these moments, I like to remember all the best memories that I had in the home, like when I went to the beach or restaurant, and celebrations in the home.”
Verguens concludes: “I want to thank all of the people who contribute to my education and my brothers’ educations, you save my life and you are the one for me.”
*Names changed for privacy purposes.
Denso Gay Communication Officer
You may be only one person in the world, but you may be all the world to one child.
—Fr. William Wasson