lunch ladies

by Kayla Raymond

Since school has started, my daily routine has changed quite a bit. I always start my day at ViBella, but around 11:30 I tend to make my way to the mountaintop. As I climb the hill, a happy momma Noel and sweet baby Nachka always greet me. When I arrive at school, I find classrooms full of children and lessons being taught. My favorite sight to see is when I come around the corner of the school building and find four of my favorite ladies preparing the school’s lunch.

Amouse, Viola, Sonia and Yvette are always happy to see me, they offer me a chair to sit on and warm smiles. At 11:45 we serve all 130 preschool children, delivering their plates of rice on trays. After we finish that task, we prepare 7th and 8th grade then continue with grades one through six. It takes us close to two hours to dish and serve all of our students.


Each day the women prepare two large bags of rice, 55 pounds each. After all 110 pounds of rice is cooked, it is served with “red sauce”, onions and a piece of Haitian sausage. The rice is prepared in four large pots over charcoal and the sauce in two separate pots. We spend approximately $500 US on vegetables, rice, oil, charcoal and seasonings every week. What a task! But, these ladies love their jobs.


Let me introduce you to them…

Yvette is a special lady because she gave birth to Mr. Webert himself. She has been cooking for the students since day one and says she never imagined we would have a school this big. She enjoys her job and uses her money to help support her children. Yvette has 7 children and 10 grandchildren.

Next is Amouse. Amouse makes me smile everyday; she is always radiating with joy. This is Amouse’s second year at the school and she is amazing. Although she doesn’t have any children of her own, she takes care of a niece and nephew. She is married, but her husband doesn’t work, so her job helps feed everyone in her household.

Then there is Sonia. Sonia joined the team last year when she was stuck in a rock and a hard place. She had never had a job before and couldn’t support her family so she was forced to put one of her children into an orphanage. We gave her this job so that her daughter could be reunited and they could stay together as a family. Sonia has six children total; two of them attend our school, Daphta and Cherby. With this job she can buy food and other necessities.

Last but not least is my dear friend Viola. Viola came into my life this past summer while I was doing a VBS with a team in Minoterie on a hot Sunday afternoon. When the team ended their lesson and asked if anyone wanted to accept Jesus, she was the only one to raise her hand. We prayed in her home that afternoon and ever since we have been friends. When she talks about her job, she says, “before I had nothing to do and couldn’t feed my kids. Then I found Kayla and became a Christian and now I can take care of my kids.” Viola has four children; two of them attend our school, Sabrina and Blonnie. Thank you Viola for coming into my life.


I love their smiles. Their passion. Their joy. And their hearts.


I have now created a “staff sponsorship” program with Touch of Hope. For $50 a month you can sponsor one of the cooks at our school. Truly, you will be a blessing to these women, but I can about guarantee they will end up being a larger blessing to you in your life.  Choose a woman and e-mail me at


If you would like to help us with our food expenses, send a donation to:

205 Old Mill Lane

Rock Rapids, Iowa 51246

(Make checks to Touch of Hope. Touch of Hope is a 501(3)c non-profit organization)