Unexpected greetings from hundreds of children, a drove of eyes like curious and lively embers, an orchestra of voices, unknown but friendly more or less the age of my granddaughter Virginia or slightly older.

It has been one of those presents you would not even dare to think of, the one received thanks to the philanthropic engagement of Veronica and Andrea, to the stubborn will of my daughter and my son in law, to do good. A gift that cannot be bought, and that has made unforgettable what, previously, I would have considered like a simple goal in life.

The day of the opening of one of the two schools, thanks to the ABF project, I was next to Virginia, and at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the child perhaps unaccustomed to the temperatures of the Caribbean, started whispering that she was hungry and thirsty. I decided to go and look for my hand bag where to find something to buffer the complaint, when my daughter stopped me, and in order to keep me there, she was forced to reveal what had to be a surprise. In fact, in a short while, began a wonderful chorus, sung by these kids, who were singing in my honor, for a meeting taking place, just by chance, right on the day of my birthday thus becoming a moment of joy and celebration for everybody.

At the time dedicated, during the ceremony, to their thoughts, to their dreams and to the laying of this first brick, to the seed planted to turn them into reality, many of them declared that they wanted to become doctors, others, missionaries, and still others, teachers (showing how much these reference figures at their disposal, are genuine and effective, and how much they have already deeply influenced the values of these young lives.

They are children who seem to have been denied their childhood, but who when they are given a possibility, an instrument, they already see their future, something that in contexts immeasurably wealthier is absent or not deeply perceived because all that they have, has foreclosed them the chance to dream.

The happy birthday wish I was given by that orchestra of young Haitian voices is something serious for me. I have seen the future in their eyes and in their smiles. Be it at home or be it in Haiti, future always means life, hope, projects, it is food for souls. I can say that this unexpected wish has given more light to my day, but also to this season of my life, because let me repeat that I have seen the future in those children’s eyes.