- NEC Guest Blogger
Student & Family Highlight-Wedjy Dupont
Wedjy Dupont-NEC Scholarship Recipient
Sponsored by Karey Stevenson
Consider the stunning realities that Haitians are confronted with:
Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
Haitians have a life expectancy of 55 years for women and 53 years for men.
Haiti’s adult literacy rate is only 62%.
Haiti is the third hungriest country in the world after Somalia and Afghanistan.
78% of Haitians live on less than $2 US per day.
Now meet the Dupont’s; a struggling family enduring in complicated Haiti. Like so many of the family’s that Nourish Every Child serves in Haiti, the Dupont family story is multifaceted and shows how profound of an impact poverty has on just one family.
We first met the Dupont family when Wedjy Dupont’s mother, Nanott, came into St. Therese Hospital in Hinche, Haiti due to preterm labor. (Wedjy Dupont is a NEC scholarship student). In order to save her pregnancy, Nanott needed emergency medical care. Through our partnership with Midwives of Haiti, we learned Nanott was a struggling mother of three. An accident at work resulted in Nanott’s husband being paralyzed and having to be moved to a different part of Haiti to be cared for. Thrust into the position of being the primary provider, and in order to feed her children and retain their home, Nanott began selling rice in a local market. By home, we mean, a single room with four walls and floors made of concrete and devoid of plumbing, electricity, running water or sanitation facilities. Nanott’s baby girl ended up being born premature and needed to remain at the hospital for 6 weeks post labor.
After Nanott’s baby was released from the hospital, Nanott was able to yet again focus on providing for her family. Tragically, her family’s home burned down just a few short months later after using a candle for light at night. Fortunately, several volunteers were able to raise just enough money to help Nanott start over yet again a new business selling clothes in a local market. However, just as it seemed like things were beginning to turn around for Nanott’s family, they found that their home had been broken into after returning from visiting family for the Christmas holidays. The burglars had stolen all the clothes that Nanott’s business depended on.
After hearing of Nanott’s continuing challenges, Nourish Every Child, made a home visit with Nanott’s family; ultimately offering two of her oldest children scholarships. These scholarships included registration fees, tuition, books and a nutritious meal every day. Nanott could not hide her relief as she could finally trust and rely on support that her children would be fed, educated and ultimately offered future opportunities.
In July, the family was yet again devastated to learn that Nanott’s 4-year-old daughter and scholarship receiver, Abigail, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Shortly after the diagnosis, Abigail succumbed to her illness and passed away as pediatric cancer treatment options in Haiti are non-existent. To add to the family’s grief, Nanott’s 14-month-old daughter, Djeni, became ill with an infection and died just 3 months after the loss of Abigail. Nanott, within three months, sadly lost two of her children. Nanott’s devastation makes all too clear that stunning Haitian statistic that 1 in 10 children do not survive to their 5th birthday.
Stories like Nanott’s and her child, Wedjy Dupont, prove how extreme poverty can thrust a family into tragic circumstances. That’s why Nourish Every Child is fully dedicated to supporting families like these by providing their children with not only a valuable education, but a nutritious meal a day. These resources help children in poverty not only survive but thrive. Nourish Every Child’s mission is dependent upon our generous donors…specifically kind-hearted people like Karey Stevenson. Karey is Wedjy Dupont’s sponsor. Karey helps us continue to nourish and care for the minds and bodies of the children in our program. As we are motivated by Mother Theresa’s words, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples”; we are inspired by Karey Stevenson’s profound ripple effects!