“It’s difficult to have a dream in Haiti.” A local high schooler once told us while talking with an American visitor to Mizak. “It’s difficult to have a dream in Haiti.” For young adults especially, they feel the odds are against them and it’s a waste of time to bother with dreaming about their future. A young friend of mine once asked me, “Lee, how am I ever supposed to find life in this country when all I have is a mandarin tree, a donkey, and a bunch of rocks?” That’s all the farther they see their futures reaching.
In the United States, the land of Opportunity, we’re raised to believe a much different message, that you can be anything you want to be. Ever since I was a little kid I’ve known exactly what I was created to be. If you would have asked me when I was five years old what I wanted to do when I grew up, I would have told you, “I’m gonna be an artist!” And from that time, throughout my life, I’ve been presented with every opportunity necessary to follow through with my intentions completely to become an artist today. Before I ever even started school I was exposed to childrens books and Crayola crayons and Disney movies that encouraged creativity and fostered my imagination form the beginning. In school I always had art classes and dedicated teachers to help me learn the skills I would need. I had the chance to study art in a university and travel many places to view other art and meet many talented artists with different techniques to share. I’ve had galleries and museums to visit, books to read, and libraries and internet to do research. I’ve always known that if I was put on this earth to be an artist, then there’s nothing on this earth that can stop me from becoming one.
Young adults in Haiti don’t know that. Ever since they were kids they’ve only been shown obstacles. They’ve learned the reasons why they will never become anything extraordinary. They’ve adapted to being comfortable with simple survival. How are you ever supposed to have a dream when all you have is a mandarin tree, a donkey, and a bunch of rocks?
This is why Living Media International exists, to help young adults in this community to believe in their purpose in life and help them create a path to achieving that purpose. We encourage them to dream. On that path towards realizing their dream we train them to become strong leaders, provide them with ways to expand their creativity, and support them in initiating community development. We help them make their dream matter.
This is why we are proud to announce the launching of a new program called “Sponsor A Dreamer.” It is a program that we have been developing for over a year with the help of many friends and are now kicking it off with our first team of 8 Dreamers. Living Media selected these 8 qualified young adults from specific specific criteria focusing on community service and the potential to positively contribute to change in their society’s future to participate in the program. These individuals will now be connected with a foreign sponsor who will pay for further education or training to prepare the young adult for their chosen vocation. This sponsor will also serve as a mentor to the participant to guide and encourage them through the process. It is in this way that we hope to provide these young adults with ways to overcome the obstacles that prevent them from reaching their personal goals.
The program is designed to reach much further than just the individual’s education, but provides the participants with many other opportunities to use what they are learning to educated others in the community. Participants will visit our primary schools and other local schools as well as our kid’s clubs to share what they are learning from their experience and show kids practical and fun ways to begin learning too. They will also communicate through a local radio show to inform the general population about how what they are learning can be applied to everyday life and how everyone can take steps to making a more beautiful community. In the local high schools participants will have the chance to advise other young students on what to expect after graduation and how to prepare for success after secondary school as well. All along, pursuing their own personal dreams, but weaving what they learn into the fabric of the community.
We have a variety of dreams in the program. Agronomy, nursing, pediatrics, economics, business management, and development engineering. The idea is to connect the Haitian Dreamers with a foreign sponsor that is in a somewhat similar field to foster the mentor and advisor relationship between them. We facilitate frequent communication between the sponsor and dreamer and also encourage sponsors to visit their dreamer in Haiti. If you would like to find out more information on this program, you can download a complete program overview here. You can also view all of our dreamers available for sponsorship and read their personal profiles at our Facebook page. If you would be interested in sponsoring one of these young adults, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you some sponsor guidelines and help you follow through with the process. Thank you!