Care for the vulnerable
The majority of Haiti's population live in abject poverty on $2 per day or less, so there are millions of people in vulnerable situations. God has called us to serve several groups of people that we feel are highly vulnerable, including orphans, children needing education, elderly widows, people with special needs, and severely malnourished children.
Orphan Care - At the Les Anglais Orphanage in a very remote part of Haiti, we care for children who come from some of the most desperate situations. We believe these children deserve a stable, loving environment where they can receive an education, feel part of a family, and be given lots of reasons to smile.
Most of the children we care for are orphans who have lost one or both biological parents and have no one else to provide for them. These children have lost parents due to various tragedies, such as disease, starvation, traffic accidents, and the 2010 earthquake. In Les Anglais, we provide more than just food and shelter...we give them a family! Pastor Yvon Ezena, and his wife Rosmita, who live at and manage the orphanage, care for the children in a family setting, giving them the love, guidance, and nurturing they deserve.
Some of the children still have biological parents who have brought them to the orphanage because of severe poverty. In most situations, the parents desire for their children to be back in their in home, if they could just provide for their needs. We work with these parents to provide education, vocational training, or job creation opportunities so they can move towards a better financial situation. We are proud that we've been able to reunite several children back with their parents in a better situation because we believe in keeping families together.
For all the children, we desire to see them loved and cared for in a way that lets them just "be a kid", and allows them to develop into educated, Christ-loving adults, who will live with integrity.
Educating the poorest children - Haiti has very few public schools provided by the government. In Les Anglais, there are only a few private schools, nearly all of which require payment from the parents. At Pastor Yvon's school in Les Anglais, we provide a quality Christian education for over 400 children. Parents who can not afford to pay are not turned away, so our school is full of children who would not be getting an education, were it not for our school. Having an educated population is a necessity for Haiti to experience long-term improvement.
"If all the children get an education, we can have hope for Haiti's future." - Pastor Yvon Ezena
Elderly Widow Care - Elderly widows living by themselves are among the most vulnerable people in Haiti. Most of the widows we provide care for have no means of taking care of themselves. We reach out to the these precious ladies to provide food, medical care, home improvements; and sometimes the best thing we can give them is our time...to sit and listen to a story....to give a hug...to remind them somebody cares. A portion of the financial support for the care of these ladies is generated from our animal husbandry program. There we teach young men in the church how to care for and breed livestock, and we use the revenue from the sale of our goats and cows to help in the care of the widows.
Special Needs Program - Unfortunately in rural Haiti, people with special needs are often not cared for and viewed by most of the population as people with no value. We reach out to children and adults with a wide variety of developmental delays and spend time with them nurturing their talents, providing opportunities for mental and physical exercise, and reminding them that the almighty creator made them perfect!
Severe Malnutrition Clinic - For the thousands of young children in Haiti who's health declines into the category of 'severely malnourished', 25% of these children will not survive unless there is drastic medical intervention. We provide the significant treatment these fragile children need through a partnership with our friends at Klinik Timoun Nou Yo in Port Salut, which is an hour and a half drive from Les Anglais. The children receive Plumpy-nut, an enriched, high protein peanut-butter (produced in Haiti), along with with medical treatment, and lots of preventative care. The family is also provided education and practical advice for ways a poor family in rural Haiti can find extra nutrition. Often times just an extra 100-200 calories per day is all it takes to keep a child from declining to a severely malnourished condition. We've seen amazing results, and witnessed children on the brink of death improve in just a few months to a healthy weight.