Voices from Haiti: Jean Fédris Auguste – My Life

Léogâne, Haiti. In life, everybody has an history, an ideal — and sometimes even leadership potential. Everyone must contribute to their own neighborhood development.   Here, in post-earthquake Haiti, I’m doing my best to follow these steps. Let me share my experiences with you and tell you about my own life.

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My name is Jean Fedris Auguste. I was born in Gressier, outside Léogâne, Haiti on November 9, 1978. I finished my middle school and high school at Christianville, La Sale Colline. I started to go there at seven.

My father left my mother while she was pregnant me, that’s why I carry her name, Sianise Auguste. She died when I was eighteen years old, leaving seven children under my responsibility.   She died on December 30, 1996.

I know death well.   I lost my uncle Fedner St. Germain — my mother’s brother — in February 2001. Ten months later my grandmother, Gertrude Victor died on December 4. In May 2003, I lost my fourth sister Marc Darline Pascal who was eighteen years old when she passed.   My sister left a daughter, Soulena Gustana Ferjules, who was three months old.   Today she’s seven years old.

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In the same year, my step-father Louis Pascal died. The day was July 12, 2003. That October, I lost my second sister Carline Pascal who left a son of six years.   His name is Betiny Roodson Pascal and today he is thirteen.

I began to build a home for my family when I was twenty six.   It was damaged during the earthquake of January 12, 2010.

I’m living now with nine people in my home: four little sisters named Mirline Pascal, Milda Pascal, Belina Pascal, and Bettyana Pascal, a little brother whose name is Platini Pascal, a niece who name is Soulena Gustana Ferjules, two nephews named Betini Roodson Pascal and Erson Alexandre, and my grand-aunt Augustine Victor who’s now ninety-five.

I love Grand-Aunt Augustine very much because she helped me to go to school when I was a young boy. Today she is both a widow and blind.

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I contribute as much as I can in my neighborhood’s development, especially in the field of education. I singlehandedly tutor more than 75% of the student in my neighborhood — and I’m willing to teach a lot more. I have volunteered as a teacher in a school name CEFCUC for one year. I always encourage all of my students to study as hard as they can.

In addition to education I also assist in construction.   I am proud to say I organized my neighbors to address its substructure and we put ourselves together in order to build a real community street measuring thirty meters (100 feet).

I have been involved in community leadership it since I was in tenth grade.   I have developed the habit to distribute gifts to all students, to all teachers, as well as for workers – using my own money.

All the people in my neighborhood seem to respect me and trust in me.   If you want proof, come to our neighborhood in Gressierwhere and ask about me. You will hear that, with all I have, I’m also helping ten children go to school because their parents cannot afford to send them.

I encourage our local teen-agers to help other people who need help — and to clean the neighborhood too. No one in my community can blame me for anything.   They love me as much as I love them.   I am ready to die for them I love them so much.

But I cannot do it all alone.   I could use some help in order to support others in need. I am currently finishing law school so that I will be better able to defend children — especially orphans.   This is my last year, and I have plan to continue to study international law and civil engineering.

I take this opportunity to congratulate Orphans International Worldwide for its great work in Haiti, especially for helping Haitian orphans and their young mentors. I hope that the blessings of God continue to spread on this important work.

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Jean Fédris Auguste is a candidate to be a Luce Leader
under the auspices of the James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation in 2011.

The Editors
The Stewardship Report on Connecting Goodness is the communications platform of The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation (www.lucefoundation.org). There are now more than 100 contributors around the world to this publication.

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