COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (March 27, 2012) — When 12-year-old Rachel Wheeler met the college-aged twins who helped her build Rachel’s School through Food For The Poor, the reaction was what one would expect from a group of girls. Rachel talked and laughed and teased with Ashton and Chesney Hellmuth all the way from South Florida to Haiti. When they climbed off the bus in Leogane, however, and saw what they had done, they were silent with awe as they walked toward a crowd of children waiting for them outside a sturdy 10-classroom school, and singing a welcome song of gratitude.
Rachel Wheeler, 12, left, and twins Chesney and Ashton Hellmuth cut the ribbon on a new school in Leogane, Haiti. The community's old school was destroyed in the January 2010 earthquake. The three girls' desire to help Haiti resulted in a 10-classroom school for more than 350 children in Leogane
“If you have a dream you follow it, and you don’t let anyone stand in your way,” Rachel told the crowd, when she found her voice.” It doesn’t matter if you’re old or young like me and my friends Ashton and Chesney.”
Ecole Reap de Morel was destroyed during the earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010, but the principal and teachers were determined to continue educating the children in the community. With the help of the local residents and the church congregation, a shelter of wood, zinc and tarps was constructed to provide some protection from the elements. Bedsheets separated the classrooms with dirt floors.
Factors cited in the recent Honduras prison fire were severe overcrowding and an unstable environment. Prisoners were reported to be suffering from malnutrition and a lack of adequate sanitation. It has also been reported that inmates with mental illnesses, as well as those with tuberculosis and other infectious diseases, are routinely held among the general prison population. Similarly, the potential spread of cholera in Haiti prisons remains a concern.
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