(L-R) Sitting:  Joan Litke, Ute Rehill (Vice-President), Benjamin Plett, Mel Darroch (Treasurer), Breanne Dugard, Christine Collings

(L-R) Standing:  Sharon Dugard (President) , Heather Lindsay, Lilianne Gauthier (Secretary), Dorothy Dugray


January 2014 News Update:


Welcome to our website and the first news update for the year.  We also invite you to visit our archived news at the bottom of this home page, as well as our Facebook page.


After eight years of planning, Open Doorways Orphanage opened its doors to our first three children in November 2011 in the community of Deschapelles, Haiti (two-hour drive north of the capital city Port-au-Prince).  Haiti is the poorest country in the Northern Hemisphere with complex structural, economic and social issues.   Unlike other Caribbean countries, Haiti has limited agriculture or tourism, thus making quality jobs scarce.


Haitians rely heavily on foreign aid for survival.  After the 2010 devastating earthquake, Canada, the UN, various nations and prominent people from President Clinton to actor Sean Penn made long-term commitments to rebuild Haiti into a stronger, independent nation.  In our own small way, we also work toward that goal by taking care of, educating and bringing hope to some of the most marginalized citizens of Haiti suffering from poverty – the children.


2013 was a year of many accomplishments for Open Doorways


  • Three new children were welcomed (one girl and two boys)
  • Renovations of an old school building on the property were completed and will serve as an activities/study room for the chldren as well as two small bedrooms and a bathroom for visitors
  • A tutor was hired to assist the children lagging behind due to little or no schooling
  • An education fund was started to assist with post-secondary education or trade school
  • A new website was launched


Our commitment to the Open Doorways children extends beyond the traditional North American view of self-sufficiency at 18 years of age.  There is no social safety net and with jobs lacking, only those with education or trade skills are employable.  The hiring of a tutor and the education fund are long term plans to ensure future success in our children’s adulthood life.  It is our greatest hope and desire for our children to not only be able to provide for themselves with a means of income but also positively impact their country.


The volunteer Board of Directors consists of Manitoban’s with diverse backgrounds including teaching, nursing, finance, accounting, business ownership and employment within the public sector.   We meet to discuss matters of finance, fundraising, operations of the home and other issues as they arise. 


Two of our Board Members along with two volunteers are looking forward to visiting the orphanage home this coming March.  A collection of clothes, educational toys, musical instruments, books, etc. being brought for the children will fill the suitcases and plastic bins to their maximum capacity.


Our current monthly budget has increased to $3400 US and includes the total care of our 15 children (food, clothing, medical care and schooling), as well as staff wages and the maintenance/operation of the home.  We have a separate budget for projects and future goals.  These include furnishing the activities/study room, a garden and play area for the children.


To help cover our monthly commitments as well as fulfill the hopes of welcoming more children to the Open Doorways family, we have a need to further increase our monthly donor base.  If you are considering partnering with us as a monthly donor or if you are interested in other options of support, please view our Donation link.


We sincerely thank you for the blessing of your generosity and compassion towards our project of faith, hope and love.


In working together we are making a difference!

Yvette Mallet, School Director, Ecole Lagimodière, Lorette, Manitoba

On November 2004, Sharon Dugard and myself offered a presentation on Haiti to our grades 7 and 8. This goal was to talk about one of the poorest country in the world and have the students realize the daily challenge that their citizens have to live with. We talked about different aspects including education, population, poor living conditions... It was all very educational for the students who were very interested. Sharon shared her project on building an orphanage for the people entitled "Open Doorways". The students were very touched and once back into class discussed with their teachers of ways they could help and ideas to raise money to support the project. I was very excited because having taught in that country for a month during the summer of 1990, I still feel very close to the people of Haiti.

As a school principal, I think it is very important to teach empathy to our students. Giving them a sense of empowerment shows them that they can make a difference in making this world a better place for every human being.

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