In Haiti, a mother is the person with whom the child grows up – birth mother, grandmother, sister, Aunt, friend of the family or people at the orphanage. Overtime, a child may have several mothers and eventually no mother at all. Although in Haiti Mother's Day is the last Sunday in May, for the entire month of May we would like to send a special acknowledgement to Haitian mothers for their roles in Haitian family life. In Haiti it is a tradition to wear a flower in honor of your mother on Mother's Day. Haitians wear a red flower to honor their mother if she is living and either purple or white to honor a mother that has passed.
Mothers’ Day is celebrated in the churches with special services. The services can be quite moving particularly with respect to honor given to the deceased. It seems that everyone appreciates the difficulties of living in Haiti and the sacrifices made by the women to bring forth their children into the world and to raise them under such conditions.
At the Center of Hope (Haiti), we make a special effort to maintain a bond between our children and their caretakers, particularly those that fulfill the role of “mother.” We are struck by the apparent genuine desire of the caregivers to participate in the education of their children. Yes, there are a lot of mores to deal with in working with the caregivers, but they are open to suggestion and new information. Special events and parent-teacher meetings are well attended by the caregivers and the discussions are constructive and informative for everyone.
The mission of Center of Hope (Haiti) is not only to educate the children, but also to be a “mother” to them during the most important years of their lives. We encourage them to learn and to play, to respect their caregivers, to show respect for each other and themselves, to share with others and to be trustworthy and truthful. We are proud of our children and the progress they are making. No one is happier to be a “mother” to our children on Mother’s Day than the staff of Center of Hope (Haiti).