Vacation Bible School (VBS) is a program facilitated by Planting Life Haiti (PLH), which provides opportunity for young children to gather and learn biblical truths while participating in a variety of arts and crafts, song and dance, and games.
In collaboration with the local schools and community development groups, PLH has lead numerous VBS activities for Désarmes kids. In general, during normal time, kids do not receive any lessons in arts, crafts, song, or dance. VBS offers a much needed, value added, educational extension to an otherwise lacking system. Local schools provide the space to facilitate gatherings, and a local development group provides volunteers and support. PLH provides resources and knowledge to teach the lessons. The response is always positive and always abundant in numbers. it is not uncommon for forty to fifty children to pack into a small room and crown around tables. While PLH provides a great deal of ‘arts and crafts’ supplies, it is not uncommon for each child to receive only a single pencil crayon. None of this dampens the energy. The room is filled with smiles and chatter, and the sounds of enthusiastic colours filling pages; and children happily swap colours when another is needed.
For many children, this may be the only opportunity they get to participate in arts and crafts, song and dance, or games in any given week, or month. The opportunity and environment are rich for child development. With such a high level of energetic participation, the opportunity to start planting seeds from the Bible is at its best. Children will colour pictures depicting stories from the Bible; construct crafts of candles and be taught that Jesus is ‘the Light of the World’; or sing and dance to ‘This Little Light of Mine.’ It’s a beautiful scene. To appreciate the true value of VBS, one needs to experience it for themselves.
As the name may indicate, Vacation Bible School was traditionally designed to meet a need between semesters when children are otherwise not attending regular classes. However, that does not limit the scope of VBS. Given the positive response from those involved and the need for more value-added education, it is often requested again during school semesters. in addition, VBS can be a part of any missions group that makes the trip to Désarmes and wishes to serve in such a fashion.
For those wishing to get involved or donate resources click ‘Here’ to contact PLH.
God Bless and Amen,
Planting Life Haiti