Guest Blog - Leah Beidler, Director of

Making Roots is an organization that functions through the local church 180 Degrees with the purpose to see holistic transformation in the lives of the Haitian people through sustainable relationships that serve and empower them. 
Making Roots was established in 2008.  We have many "branches" to support Haitians living in Cite Soleil and Passé Cataboise, Haiti.  During the summer we provide employment to young adults and youth.  Working together we facilitate a summer program for children ages 6-14.  Summer camp provides creative arts, sports enrichment, breakfast/lunch, music, and bible study with theatre.  Workers support this camp by leading and helping the children during camp. 
Employment is absent in these two locations and we believe by providing employment we are able to support youth and young adults financially.  We also believe in providing employment, as we are encouraged and thankful to have a platform in which the community can support their children and youth.  Following camp we hire young adults and teachers to hold workshops that are facilitated for youth ages 14-16.  The workers have identified a skill/art that they think would be beneficially for their youth to comprehend and learn.  Making Roots employs these teachers to work with the youth and teach this skill or art.  We currently teach weaving, sewing, jewelry making, crochet, art/painting, English, and metal work. 
We serve over 150 children for summer camp.  We serve over 350 youth with the workshops.  We are energized to see the commitment and leaderships that comes forth from the communities and workers. 
Along with our summer programs we support 12 children/youth with their education.  While we would like to grow this number we have found education in Haiti becomes very costly and we want to be able to support these children to the end of their education. 
We are thankful for the opportunity to be working with these communities.  God continues to provide through finances and opportunities that allow Making Roots to be present in Haiti.  We are prayerful to grow this ministry/work by expanding camp/workshops to serve more children.  We are also hopeful in that we want to employ teachers in Cite Soleil to facilitate workshops on the weekends.  We are being faithful with what the Lord has given us and prayerful to see Him expand our borders.  
How God Moves
Cite Soleil is the poorest part of Haiti.  Plagued with gang violence, poverty, illiteracy, the environment can often seem overwhelming, and strips your heart of joy.  But camp/workshops have been so beautiful in that the energy is pumping.  The community is working together in one accord.  Youth/children are not in the streets.  Adults and youth from all walks of life are working together.  Youth that are in school, a mother that is in the church, a gang member, a father, a youth trying to earn money for his education, elder cooking, all the hands are working and thriving to pour into their community and their children/youth.  There is a saying in Haiti, “Mache pou kont li ou fèb, Mache ansanm nou  fò.” (Walk alone you are weak, walk together we are strong).  Making Roots continues to “walk” and passionately serve with Haitian communities and people.  We are prayerful that God continues to expand the borders of the work/ministry that is being done.  We are thankful for the energy that the community pours, but more thankful as we watch God's redemption and restoration pour into the hearts and streets of Haiti.  
Pictures from this Summer:
From top to bottom: Jonathan, sweet boy that came to the second week. We sang one day and he just danced and danced. Jumping rope! They whip that rope so hard that sometimes it knocks kids over! Sun after a rainstorm! Louvenet (youth workers) helping one of the kids color his emblem for his Haitian flag craft. Our theme of the weeks was, "We love because he first loved us." The heart was a craft to represent the theme. Last two pictures are of us playing drums! Throwing down and jumping up!
Leah Beidler
Director of Making Roots

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