School children in Borgne, Haiti have been helped by residents and the Friends of Borgne, Inc. Photo provided by Friends of Borgne.

Back in 2011 Rick Milne, the mayor of Honeoye Falls, and Estimable Francius Dauphin, the assistant mayor of Borgne, Haiti, officially signed an agreement declaring Honeoye Falls and Borgne, Haiti to be Sister Cities! Much has happened since then! Estimable known informally as Johnny has visited Honeoye Falls several times and some Honeoye Falls folks have visited Borgne.

Over the years, students at HF-L have been pen pals with students in Borgne. Residents here donated musical instruments which helped the students in Borgne form a band. Partnering with Friends of Borgne, Inc., there are over 40 children on full scholarship each year. The group pays teachers at three schools so that over 200 children can attend school at a very low cost. (There is no free education in Haiti.). Money has been sent from Honeoye Falls residents to replace tools for the farmers in Borgne where flooding occurred and helped them begin again. Schools there closed in March. In September and October, they reopened so that students could catch up with what they missed. This school year began on November 9th and the students are back in school.

Friends of Borgne pay for tuition, books, uniforms, shoes, and backpacks for the 40 scholarship children who would have no hope of getting an education without our help. After paying tuition and buying the supplies, we have expenses of $3010 per month which covers teacher salaries, director salary, a librarian who has a traveling library, and a sewing center and this includes $1000 for food.

Friends of Borgne is hoping that area residents can help them continue to provide a meal each day for the children on scholarship. The group has had financial demands that are unusual this year. First of all, there is COVID! It sent money for fabric and its sewing center made hundreds of masks which were distributed in the market and beyond. It also funded the purchase of several handwashing stations which were large containers with spigots containing bleach and water. It sent people around the countryside with megaphones to tell the people about COVID and how to keep well. It also helped with finishing a room at the hospital for projected needs. Happily, they are doing OK so far.

COVID has made it unwise for the group to have its usual fundraiser dinners at the Mendon Community Center that are so much fun and so well attended by this community. To add to the difficulty, the value of our dollar has fallen drastically in Haiti. This changes without rhyme or reason. Still, everything is costing almost twice as much.

So, the group is asking for your help. It won’t be able to provide food without it and the children really need food in order to be able to learn. Food costs $10,000 a year! If the group had 200 people who could spare $50 , it would be all set. Of course, any donation of any size is so very welcome. Please consider helping. Donations may be sent in care of: Friends of Borgne, Inc. PO Box 486 Honeoye Falls, NY 14472 Please make out checks to Friends of Borgne, Inc. All donations are tax deductible and 100% of donations go to Borgne. The Friends of Borgne board here is all volunteer. It thanks you on behalf of some absolutely beautiful children who will be receiving the great gifts of education and nourishment! For great photos and more information, please check out our website at www.friendsofborgnehaiti.org.

©2021 MHFL Sentinel

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