“This is My Haiti” – Marie Francelene Essais
Hope for Haiti’s education program leads to a special nursing scholarship. Marie Francelene Essais is a nursing student at the University of Notre Dame in Les Cayes, Haiti. The 23-year old grew up in Laurent, about 15 minutes away from Hope for Haiti’s headquarters in the Southern Department. In a household with 1 sister and 2 brothers, Marie’s mom works hard as a small-scale cook selling in the markets of Les Cayes and Port au Prince. Despite her efforts, Marie couldn’t afford to pay tuition.
Both Marie’s mother and father inspire her because they always supported her. Despite being unable to attend school themselves and possessing an extremely low literacy level, “my parents always help me because they believe in me.” Through her involvement in her local Church choir, Marie met long-time Hope for Haiti program partner Father Max Mathieu – who helped her continue through secondary school despite financial hurdles.
At the College Saint Laurent, Marie met Hope for Haiti. “Patrick, [Hope for Haiti’s former Program Director], came and visited my eleventh grade classes. I knew Patrick, and then Paula [Program Manager],” because Hope for Haiti supported the school through teacher salary subsidies and support for materials and books. “I finished high school and passed my state exam, allowing me to continue to higher education,” says Marie proudly. Hope for Haiti provided Marie with a scholarship to attend nursing school in Les Cayes.
“I dream of healing accident victims, especially doing their sutures, and I always stop and try to help when there is an accident in my community.” Through nursing, Marie hopes to have a better life for herself by studying and working hard. For the future of her country, Marie hopes that the country changes so there is more opportunity for ambitious young people. “Haiti doesn’t have what it needs for the people living here, but it is very beautiful. Hope for Haiti helps people who don’t have the means to help themselves, especially for children going to school.” Marie has every confidence that she’ll become a great nurse, and we hope to see her at our Infirmary in Les Cayes after graduation!