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2nd Anniversary of Haitian Earthquake

January 13, 2012

Today marks two years since the tragic January 12, 2010 earthquake which struck Port-au-Prince Haiti, killing nearly 250,000 people and forever changing the lives of millions of Haitians.

We at the Hinche Scholars/I Have a Dream Foundation would like to extend our sympathies to everyone who lost friends, family members and other loved ones when the earth shook two years ago. We stand in solidarity with all those around the world who are mourning on this solemn anniversary.

Tent cities still dot the landscape of Port-au-Prince even two years after the earthquake

Tent cities still dot the landscape of Port-au-Prince even two years after the earthquake

Yet as we recall the suffering of January 2010, we remember that in even the midst of suffering, hope can and will emerge. For the past two years, our project has sought to help displaced Haitian university students as they seek to acheive the dream of higher education. Each day since January 12, 2010 these young people have been a constant reminder that perseverance, hard-work and hope can move mountains.

Thanks to the dedication of these students and the generosity of our many volunteers, the Hinche Scholars project has now come to fruition. The path has never been easy, but along the way we have always found helping hands. From Oprah to Anderson Cooper, from the Richmond School Board to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, our supporters have been numerous and very kind. We have ovecome countless hurdles: fundraising, college acceptances, visas, and more.

The Hinche Scholars with Father Bourdeau in Richmond, Fall 2011 - Lude, Suze, Berry, and Frandy

The Hinche Scholars with Father Bourdeau in Richmond, Fall 2011 - Lude, Suze, Berry, and Frandy

Today three Hinche Scholars – Lude, Suze, and Frandy are entering their second semester at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Richmond. We are also excited to announce that Berry Riche has been accepted at Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina.

Berry started classes this week at ECSU where he will be working toward a degree in business. Two years ago, Berry was only a few months from graduating from his Haitian university with a degree in accounting. When the earthquake struck, this young man saw his future literally collapse in every direction. Now, Berry is once again on track to graduation – thanks to you!

Hinche Scholar and ECSU Berry Riche enjoys some Christmas joy a few weeks ago

Hinche Scholar and ECSU Berry Riche enjoys some Christmas cheer just a few weeks ago

We look forward to watching Berry and all of our Hinche Scholars as they study hard and excel in their schoolwork. With your continued support both through financial contributions and volunteer/in-kind donations, we can help these students as they strive to improve themselves and return to help their country.

On another note, we need to say that this may be the last post for a few months. Hinche Scholars project coordinator Danny Yates will be out of the country and therefore this blog will be taking a bit of a hiatus. In the interim, please follow the news of the Hinche Scholars on the I Have a Dream Foundation website – www.ihaveadreamrichmond.org. On this website you will also find a link to donate and  to contact us.

Thank you, or as our Haitian friends would say  – “Mesi Anpil!”

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