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Iowa Women Ensure Education in Haiti


Wednesday night is traditionally known as “family night” at First Christian Reformed Church in Rock Valley, Iowa.

And for the women’s Bible study, ‘family’ extends all the way to Haiti. This mission-centered group creates name-tag carriers for Haitian children to ensure their ability to attend school.

“The kids can't go to school unless they have a name tag,” explained Gert Van Regenmorter, one of the project’s organizers.

The women hoped to have 1,600 of the carriers completed by August, which they will mail to Mission Haiti in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Mission Haiti frequently sends volunteer groups down, who carry the school supplies with them to distribute.

 “Another group in town is making backpacks,” said Joyce Van Engen. In addition, First CRC collects shoes for distribution worldwide through a group called Soles4Souls.

The women spend a couple hours every week working on the name-tag holders. They bring their own materials and set up an informal assembly line. Some cut plastic, some cut the cloth strips, and some sew the pieces together.

The end result is a small plastic holder with a cloth lanyard that the students can hang around their necks to assure that they never are without their ID badge—or their education.

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