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Education is the Road Out of Poverty for Haitian Youth

Posted on May 23, 2019 in: News, Outreach to Haiti

Education is the Road Out of Poverty for Haitian Youth

By Mezalus Emil

Kenley Richard’s story is proof that education is the road out of poverty for Haitian youth. The Outreach to Haiti Education Sponsorship recipient, Kenley now works to support his family and send his sister to college.

For most of his life, Kenley’s family has faced economic challenges. He was born in Port-Au- Prince in 1989, the third of seven children of Jean Bossuet Richard and Keteline Noel. His mother, Keteline, has provided for Kenley’s family through her small trading business. His father was a cabinet maker who found occasional work until his death in August of 2017.

Kenley started school at age three and attended several different schools because of the high cost of tuition. Kenley was a very intelligent student, often first in his class. But by the time he was in sixth grade at Ernst Desir School, the family’s financial situation was so difficult that Kenley was preparing to drop out. The principal of the school, Aldo Moro, didn’t want Kenley to give up and approached the Outreach to Haiti Education Sponsorship director at that time.

Kenley’s high grades and some help from the director got him into the program in 2004. With the help of donors and sponsors, Kenley was able to complete his high school classes. When he finished in 2013, he took and passed an aptitude test that allowed him to go to college. Aware of his family’s financial situation, he chose a threeyear study in a vocational school in order to get a job as soon as possible. Kenley started studying mechanical engineering at the Diesel Institute of Haiti, and the outreach director started looking for internships for him. His first internship at Central Garage PNH gave him good experience.

After the internship, he entered into two three-month contracts at Robert Auto Parts from November 2017 to April 2018. Following that were two months of downtime, before he landed a job at Apollo Motors. Kenley said he’s thankful to those donors and sponsors who paid his tuition for so many years and to God, who gave him intelligence to learn in school. With his latest job, he’s been able to help his mother provide for his family and to pay tuition for his sister Yasly, a first-year accounting student.

Kenley said he wants to help a child through Outreach to Haiti in the 2019-20 year. He also said he’s grateful to all those who contributed to his own academic and professional success. He said he’s able to help himself, his family and Haitian society.

He hopes God will keep blessing and protecting donors and sponsors so that the program can continue to exist, operate and transform the lives of other children in Haiti. He also prays for God to bless and protect the administration of outreach in the United States and Haiti, who have worked hard to improve the situation of hundreds, even thousands of children in Haiti.

Sign up to help a child in Haiti. For more information, visit, email or call the Diocese of Norwich Outreach to Haiti office at 860-800-3601.

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