Project Milestones


  • During Sharon Dugard’s first visit to Haiti and holding an orphan named Andre, a seed planted itself deep in her heart with the vision of building an orphanage.


  • The seed sprouted and Sharon went public with her vision
  • Many volunteers started giving of their talents and time in preparing an information board for public event, printing of pamphlets and fundraising events


  • Volunteer Board of Directors was formed 


  • Open Doorways Orphanage became Incorporated


  • Open Doorways Orphanage Inc. became a registered Canadian charity


  • A parcel of land in the community of Deschapelles (two-hour drive north of the capital city Port-au-Prince) was offered to Open Doorways.   


  • February
    • Digging for the foundation of the security wall
  • March
    • 40 men and women (local and some displaced after earthquake in Port-au-Prince) hired to work on the ODO project
  • April
    • digging for the foundation of the orphanage
    • manufacturing of the entrance gate
    • small door in security wall giving access to the school yard
  • July
    • Raising wall for the orphanage
  • August
    • Consolidating walls for the orphanage by pouring concrete in the posts
  • October
    • Concrete roof
  • December
    • Outside front stairway leading into the home


  • January - August
    • Finishing – kitchen cupboards, bathrooms, flooring, painting…
  • September
    • orphanage is complete
    • yard work underway
    • a lot of the furnishings are in
    • one staff hired to organize inside
  • November 15
    • three girls, Frazimene, Christlene & Nagella became the first three children in the ODO family


  • March
    • there are now 10 chilldren in the ODO family (6 girls and 4 boys)
    • ODO has 8 locally hired staff (manager, housemother, 2 assistant house mothers, head cook, assistant cook, laundry lady, yard/maintance man)
    • Sharon, Lil Gauthier (Board Member) and 2 volunteers – Corie Koch and Ute Rehill visited the children and staff
  • October
    • cooks are no longer using charcoal for making meals but using a propane burner


  • January
    • Honda 3KW generator was purchased
    • Sidewalk was poured to the outside kitchen and another one to the door giving access to the school yard
  • February 
    • there are now 12 children in the ODO (7 girls and 5 boys)
    • ODO has 9 locally hired staff (addition of a gentleman for night security)
    • Sharon, Ute Rehill (Board Member) and 2 volunteers – Rose & Samantha Unrau visited the chlldren and staff
    • fruit trees were planted alongside the security wall
  • Up-coming projects for 2013
    • Renovation of vacant building on property into a studies/activities room for the children, 2 bedrooms for visitors and one bathroom


  • Completed renovation of vacant building on property.  It is now used as a studies/activities room and can accommodate any visitors

  • Tutor was hired to assist the children with their education

  • Manitoba resident and retired schoolteacher Irene Hudek visited and volunteered for a few weeks. She was able to share her music and teaching skills with both the children and staff.

  • One of our employees, Edeline, left her position to pursue Nursing in Port Au Prince. 

The late Irene Turner

With Christmas 2005 just around the corner, I am reminded of how fortunate we are to live in a country full of opportunities and blessings. Most of us have more than we need and a thought came to my mind as we try to find the perfect Christmas gift for our family and friends to show our love and friendship. In support of Open Doorways Orphanage, what a wonderful time of year to consider giving on our loved one's behalf to the project instead where the gift will be used to bring opportunities and blessings of hope, peace and love to those who are desperately in need. This could also be a year-round consideration for birthday time, anniversary time, or in memory of someone.

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