Madame Mazilia and her family have lived on the original Joseph School land for years. Donated by the Haitian government for the school, the 77 acres sits in the heart of Cabaret. Mazilia has six children, four boys and two girls. After the beautiful land was donated for our leadership academy, it was only common sense that The Joseph School would need to help relocate any families that would be displaced by the school. Like the United States, squatters’ rights can be developed over time in Haiti. Mazilia and her family were covered under those rights. They had lived in a simple mud house for years and that house was beginning to deteriorate.
Inspiring One Another
After the property became the new home for TJS, Jean Bildad Michel, Director of Operations, visited all the locals living on the land. He even introduced the locals to the mission teams that came to visit TJS. The visitors danced to music and shared gifts they had brought to Haiti. A relationship was born with these four families living. School staff and the families developed a relationship of respect for each other as part of their community, instead of an adversarial or litigious position.
As the school began to take shape, Madame Mazilia saw business opportunities. She watched as the building of the school brought multiple construction workers to the land and she noticed they spent long days on the job. Mazilia borrowed money and started her own food business; selling food which she herself prepared. After all, there is no one hungrier than a construction worker in the hot Haitian sun. At the entrance in front of the large TJS gate, Mazilia set up her food tent, selling to the TJS workers and the local population. She was overjoyed at her personal accomplishment.
Helping One Another
In Haiti, there are rainy seasons. In the middle of one such torrential downpour, the side of Mazilia’s mud house collapsed. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but Mazilia now needed a place to live.
The Joseph School got busy, contracting, and completing a brand-new concrete home just for her. She moved into the new home with her family right away. Mazilia was and is thankful that the Joseph School did not merely pay her money to move her and her family from the land. Rather, they embraced her and her family. TJS created an opportunity for her to support herself and her family.
She said, “I am 53 years old. I never imagined I would be able to have a place like this for my family. I am not worthy to have this beautiful gift from God!”
Donors, by God’s grace, you have blessed another family with a pretty cream and chocolate-colored home in the heart of the TJS area. Mazilia and her family are grateful, and so are we. Thank you!