News up-date December 4, 2013
~ Photo of our children in their school uniforms ~
Back row (L-R) Widena, Chrislene, Fenia, Andison & Frazimene
Front row (L-R) Fenick, Sleiden, Bethsaida, Wideline (newly welcomed in October), Ivenson, Andy, Nagella & Maudena
Missing from photo - Jhondy (boy - newly welcomed at the end of November)
Message from our volunteer Board of Directors
This past October marked our 10th ANNIVERSARY when Sharon Dugard (founder and president of Open Doorways) went public with her vision of building an orphanage in Haiti. It has been an incredible journey and our memory binders are filled with newspaper articles, pictures and documentation of what has been accomplished. In working together with love, we are making a difference.
Since last year, our family at the orphanage in Deschapelles (two-hour drive north of Port-au-Prince) has recently grown from 12 children to 14 (eight girls and six boys).
The children (aged 3 – 12) are happy and they all attend school next door to the home. Having had little or no schooling, a part-time tutor was hired to help them with their reading, writing and math skills throughout the summer months. A full-time tutor has recently been hired and comes to the orphanage every day after school to help with their homework and studies. The children also love singing and are musically inclined. Plans are to bring recorders at our next visit to the orphanage and a keyboard will be purchased in Haiti.
We have 9 staff (housemother, 2 assistant housemothers, 2 cooks, laundry, maintenance, security and manager). Our cooks learned how to use propane for cooking instead of the traditional use of charcoal. This has a positive contribution to the environment as much of the country has been deforested with peasants cutting trees for the making and selling of charcoal. One of our assistant housemothers has started her training in nursing and earning a wage is helping in realizing her dream.
Fruit trees (mangoes, coconut, papaya and lemons) have been planted along one side of the security wall. They are growing and our maintenance man has been teaching the children how to water and care for them. A spot on the property has been designated for a future garden area.
An existing empty building on the property has been renovated and will serve as an activities/study room for the children (which we hope to fill the shelves with many, many books) as well as two small bedrooms and a bathroom for guests and volunteers. Some painting as well as the purchase of furnishings will complete this project.
An Education Fund has been set up to help any of the children with post secondary education or trade school once they graduate from Grade 12. Education is key to empowering them in making a difference in their lives and their country.
Sharon and Ute Rehill (Board Vice-President) along with 2 volunteers (Samantha & Rose) from Winnipeg visited the home this past February. It was a wonderful week and the archives on our newly developed website has their stories and pictures.
In closing, our volunteer Board of Directors extends sincere and heartfelt thanks to our family of supporters for journeying with us with your compassion, prayers, kind donations, fundraising and volunteering. May you and your loved ones be blessed with a joyful Christmas and peaceful New Year 2014.