Thanks to you, the kids at the HTDC orphanage in Haiti are all enjoying a wonderful summer. But there are dark clouds gathering on the horizon. So this project report is also partly an appeal for your continued support if possible.
Since our last report school closed for the summer, and the kids at the orphanage were all excited for the long weeks of fun ahead. But before the break started, there was a last bit of business to attend to.
Carlo, the orphanage director, explained:
“We organized a graduation for the kids, [including] Bodlison, Kenson, Novelie, Oberson, Schnaidine, Bodlina, who graduated from kindergarten and will be going to 1st grade next school year. They received certificates. During the ceremony, other students performed and there was a dance troupe. The ceremony came to a close with a party including a DJ and food.
We’ve always loved the way the orphanage formally marks these important rites of passage and, as always, the kids looked amazing dressed up for this latest event.
And with the celebrations done, the kids could finally get down to the serious business of enjoying their summer!
Carlo again explained:
“During the first week of June, we took the kids to the beach in the morning and came back in the afternoon. HTDC staff members prepared and brought food and drinks for all the kids. They swam, enjoyed themselves, and had a lot of fun”.
Carlo also sent us some great pictures from this trip, two of which we’ve included in this update. As you can see the kids enjoyed every minute, and are clearly thriving in the orphanage's care, despite their tough starts in life.
And this is where worries about the future to start to resurface. The kids are all safe and happy at the orphanage, but houses large enough for all the kids are very expensive in Port-au-Prince. What’s more the custom in Haiti is for rent to be paid in advance every two years.
The next payment for the orphanage is due this coming November, and this year the landlord also wants to increase the rent to $16,000 (or $8,000 a year in total).
We know many of you have already generously donated towards this cause. For example, through our specific micro-projects for Paolo, Rose, Nathaelle and more. But while these micro-projects have raised almost $9,000 in total since April 2015, around two thirds of this has always been allocated to cover caregiver salaries, and monthly utilities.
This means we’ve only secured around $3,000 specifically for the rent, and that we’re still $13,000 short of covering the full payment for the next two years.
The orphanage are reaching out to other partners, and we’re also talking to the landlord to see if he’ll accept smaller, more frequent rent payments. But at the moment, there’s no guarantee any of this will help.
This is obviously very worrying for us, and also for the orphanage directors and the kids! The house is the centre of the orphanage, and if the rent can’t be found then the kids risk returning to the squalid living conditions they were in when we met them back in 2010.
The worst case scenario is that the kids end up on the streets, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation and destined to a life of poverty.
We know that a more sustainable solution for the orphanage has to be found. That’s why we also have a fundraising project on GlobalGiving to give the orphanage it’s own income.
But this longer-term solution is still being developed, and in the short-term the kids are still reliant on your generosity to provide them with a safe home.
If you can, please donate today so that come November, we can keep a roof over the heads of these beautiful kids.
As always, if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org. I would be delighted to hear from you.
For more updates about our work please like us on Facebook or follow IDVExec on Twitter. You can also email Andy is you would like to be added to our direct mailing list.
Thanks to your fantastic generosity we’re continuing to provide a safe home for the beautiful kids at the HTDC orphanage in Haiti.
And, as well as keeping a roof over the kids’ heads, your support is also allowing us to provide food, school and healthcare too. This is amazing in itself, but it also means the orphanage staff have been able to spend time organising some fun, educational activities to keep the kids entertained and engaged with their amazing home country.
For example, one of the challenges Haiti faces is poor agricultural productivity. It’s estimated that locally grown products only meet 45% of the population’s food needs. As a result food is often imported and is very expensive, particularly in such a poor country.
This is a complex problem to solve and to highlight the issues May 1 is both Agriculture and Labor day in Haiti.
Carlo, the orphanage director, wanted the kids to start understanding this important issue and so he organised a special event at the orphanage. Here’s what he had to say about the day:
“We organized this event for agriculture day with different type of local fruit and food to teach how it is important to protect our environment, why they should plant trees and explain to them how deforestation can cause erosion.
All schools and community start to get involve to this event because every day this problem causing too much other problem, we know we need to start letting the kids know about that.
[One of the kids] Nathanaelle think the agriculture event was very important and productive, and they had to eat dinner with only local food, not like their regular meals.
She think all the kids should get to know more about environment, deforestation and all the problems the world might be facing in future. She understand now why we should all [be] involve and contribute for a better Haiti and the world”.
But it doesn’t stop there. Later in the month, on May 18, the kids also celebrated Haitian Flag day, which is one of the most important days in Haiti due to the country’s history.
Carlo again explained more about this:
“After ten years of fighting, the battles of the revolution came to an end in 1803 and the declaration of independence took place on January 1st 1804, where Haiti declared itself free.
On this day Haiti become a nation, and we abolished slavery. Five months later, its first flag as a nation was ready on May 18 1804. The colors of that flag was blue and red and this flag of pride and freedom is celebrated every year on May 18.
[Another of the kids] Nefky said the Flag day event was fun, they play that day and the teachers teach them more about Haiti History and how we have this flag from all the slavery fight. He think he know more about Haitian history now and is proud”.
We think it’s great that the kids are thinking so much about both their history and future while having fun at the same time. This is all only possible because of you - thank you so much!
We know you’ve already given so much but more funds are always needed to keep the kids safe and learning too. So, if you can, please consider making another donation today.
Thanks to your continued, amazing support the kids at the HTDC orphanage are all really thriving. All of them are well cared for, fed and healthy and as a result they’re all able to focus on normal kids’ things, like school and fun!
The kids all took school tests before Christmas and their results in January were all positive with everyone getting on well. And, to reward their progress, the orphanage staff have been busy keeping the kids entertained outside of class as well.
For example February saw Haiti’s national carnival celebrations arrive again, and the kids got dressed up and enjoyed traditional food, music and dances.
And there’s more games on the horizon too as the kids have just been invited to compete with five other schools in a soccer championship. The boys are really excited to take part and, as they’re being home-schooled again this year, it’s a fantastic chance to socialise with, and learn from, other kids too.
The girls won’t be easily left out though and most of them are more than tough enough to hold their own! And happily there’s also plenty of activities going on that don’t require as much horse-play.
For example, the orphanage has often worked with our other partner, the English in Mind (EIM) Institute to give the kids English lessons. And just last week EIM’s assistant principal, Nocky, dropped by to arrange the next set of classes.
Also, one of the orphanage’s teachers is providing some art classes in his spare time and the kids have just been able to put their new skills to good use. One of our previous volunteers, Drew, has just connected the orphanage with an ethical clothing company and they’ve asked the kids to design some Haitian themed t-shirts.
The kids have had great fun working on this project and a share of any profits will be donated towards their ongoing education. We really do love the fact that our enduring partners and friends, like EIM and Drew, are staying engaged with the orphanage in various ways.
Overall things are going amazingly well at the orphanage and this is all thanks to you. In fact, because of your incredible support, the orphanage has also been able to welcome a couple more kids over recent months.
One of the new arrivals is Michel whose mom had to sadly give up because she was virtually a child herself. Despite this tough start in life Michel is a very loving child and has now settled in very well. And, what’s more, we know that with your continued support he’ll be able to grow up as happy and as healthy as the rest of these beautiful kids.
One last time, thank you so much for all you’ve given.
With Christmas now only a couple of days away we wanted to take the time to wish you a very Merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays) from the HTDC orphanage in Haiti.
The kids are now all literally bursting with excitement and, thanks to you, we’ll be able to make some of their Christmas dreams come true. With a little help from you “Santa” will be bringing Paolo and Manoucheca some new clothes, and there’s a funny helicopter shaped gift under the tree for Nolson. There’s gifts for all the other kids too of course.
We’re thrilled that these beautiful kids can enjoy the Holidays in the same way other kids around the world get to. The kids at HTDC may have lost their parents but thanks to you they can still experience the wonder of childhood!
Of course thanks from us is one thing, but we wanted to give the kids a chance to send you season’s greetings themselves. You can watch these greetings in this Facebook video (although Carlo, the orphanage director seems to be hogging the spotlight a little :)
Also, if you’re still keen to support the kids this Christmas, and into the New Year, there’s still time to donate if you can.
For example, there’s match funding available for any new recurring donations set up via GlobalGiving during December. On the US GlobalGiving site your initial donation will receive a 100% match after four months (a limit of $200 applies). On the UK site the terms are the same but the matching limit is £100.
Recurring donations are particularly amazing, as they allow us to plan ahead more effectively at the orphanage. But we would obviously also be very grateful for any further one time gifts you might be able to make as the Holiday season continues.
The Holidays are here again and the kids at the HTDC orphanage in Haiti are starting to get really excited about Christmas.
Like children all over the world the kids have gotten into some mischief during the year. But by and large they’ve all done their chores and they’ve all worked hard in school. Ultimately they’re great kids!
This is particularly true given all they’ve been through in their often short lives. All lost their parents in some way and, despite them now having a fantastic home, there’s always a certain amount of hardship and upheaval in any orphanage.
So, because the kids all deserve it, the orphanage staff are hoping to give them a Christmas they can remember. The staff asked the kids what Christmas gifts they wanted, and here’s what some of them are wishing for.
Thirteen year old Paolo, who was abandoned by his dad, said he’d love a Playstation or some new clothes. He’s happy whatever though as he just loves December - people are happy and the temperature is much cooler than the rest of the year.
On the other hand eight year old Nolson, whose father died from Cholera, just wants a helicopter to play with.
Finally Manoucheca, who at fifteen is turning into a young woman, would love some jewellery and nice clothes - maybe she’s thinking about catching someone’s eye?
But Manoucheca also wished for something else this Christmas. Because she’s older she’s also all too aware of the sometimes violent protests which have engulfed Haiti following recent elections.
So what Manoucheca is really wishing for this Christmas is peace.
Sadly neither ourselves, or the orphanage staff, can promise Manoucheca her ultimate wish. But thanks to your amazing support we can keep providing all the kids with a safe home, food and school.
And, if you’re able to make another donation over the coming days we can also make some of the kids Christmas wishes come true as well.
As always, if you ever have any queries about how we’re using your donation, please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org. I would be delighted to hear from you.
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