In the second part of our series, A Helping Hand for Haiti, NY1's Erin Clarke introduces us to the children and parents who are directly supported by the Edeyo Foundation -- a New York City based non-profit organization whose mission is to educate children there to equip them with the proper resources and access to better opportunities.
Madame Coquillon, her husband and their 11 children live in a simple home in Bel-Air, a poor neighborhood of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. Like many others in the area, there is little to no furniture, tarp, wood, and concrete slabs make up much of the structure. A small pool outside serves as a washroom.
"We're living a very difficult life. My parents have 11 kids and they don't have the possibilities to help my brothers and sisters," said Anton Charles, an Edeyo School graduate.
It's been three and a half years since Madame Coquillon's husband has worked. And no work means little money for the family's needs.
"Sometimes there's food," Coquillon said.
The saving grace, she says, is that they have the Edeyo School that provides one meal a day to its students. Sometimes it's the only meal a day for the Coquillon kids. The older siblings who've graduated stop by after school to eat there too.
"Those that go to the Edeyo school they get a hot meal, but those that stay at home, sometimes I find food to give them, sometime I don't," Coquillon said.
But it's so much more than food that the Edeyo school gives the children. It also gives them hope for the future.
"My goal is that I want to be a doctor, specifically a pediatric doctor because I care a lot about children," said Rosie Pierre, an Edeyo School graduate.
In a place where resources are limited, public schools education is lacking and the cost of private school is out of reach for many.
"The kids that don't go to school sometimes it's probably because their parents can't help them. They are all in the streets," said Lousida Etienne, an Edeyo School graduate.
But the children have access to better opportunities, because not only is the Edeyo School free, the foundation also pays for graduates' next level of education.
"I never could have imagined getting this far in life," said Wentsha Pierre, a former Edeyo School student.
And while Pierre and her friends plan to continue on, the Edeyo School remains close to their hearts.
"This school has done so much for me and I study a lot so I can make the school proud of me," said Pierre.
Maintaining the Edeyo Foundation mission of empowering the country of Haiti by educating its children.