Saturday, August 25, 2012

Would you Consider?

Do you already sponsor a child? If so, this post may not be for you. And yet, it still might be. I'm writing because some children are heavy on my heart and they need our help.

One of the main responsibilities that Craig and I were hoping to accomplish during our time in Haiti was to establish a better understanding and tracking of all the income and expenses of the orphanage in Anse a Galets, Haiti.  After getting a better understanding of what it takes to run this orphanage on a day to day, week to week and month to month basis, we then had the task of training the orphanage director and some of her staff to keep better track of the records. We did this for many reasons, one of which so that we can see visually online from the States where she is at with her cash flow and send her more money when needed.  (As available.)

What we found was that Mme. Soliette is constantly running low on funds and borrowing money from locals and going without food, paying rent, paying her workers, etc.  It is not ideal to be borrowing money from the locals.  We unfortunately experienced the bad side of borrowing money while we were in Haiti.  Two little twin 4 year old boys came to the orphanage because their mother was doused in gasoline and severely burned and died two days later for not being able to pay her full loan back on time. She owed an equivalent of $150 US and was only able to pay back $100.  She lost her life over $50.  Borrowing money is just not the ideal situation for Mme. Soliette.

Okipe has chosen to use a model different that the traditional child sponsorship model.  What happens when certain children are sponsored and others are not? Do some eat and go to school and get medical attention while others watch from the sidelines? We don't feel that this is the best model and have adapted a "Join the Village" model.  We are asking people to team up with Orphanage by Joining the Village.

What does this mean?

By making a monthly pledge of any amount to the fund established by Okipe for the Jesus Home for Children of La Ganove, you can participate with other sponsors to cover daily, weekly and monthly operating expenses which provide these children with:

  • Life saving vaccines and basic medical care
  • Shelter and loving adult supervision by Haitian staff
  • Food, clean water & clothes
  • Primary and Secondary Education
  • And much more...
The children are currently living in a two story building where the only "play area" is a small hallway where they also eat their meals.  The boys live on the bottom floor which also doubles as the school during the day.  The boys will sleep on the floor or benches while the girls have a few beds to share upstairs. (Not nearly enough for the over 30 girls)


Thankfully, Okipe is also in the process of building a new Children's Village!! The land has been purchased and the pods that will house about 8 children and a house mom are coming along! This is a really exciting time, and we are still looking for people to get involved to help complete the funding of this project as well.  We are over half way there and are making good progress.  Our goal at this point is to have the children moving in this spring!! Each child will have their own bed and a family unit will be the model instead of an orphanage feel.  

I encourage you to take a look around the Okipe website. The blog is updated regularly with pictures of the latest progress.  

One really neat thing is that it is actually pretty easy and inexpensive to visit La Ganove.  Haiti shares our same time zone and flights aren't too much more than what you would pay to fly to Florida.  All this to say that wouldn't it be amazing to invest into the lives of 75 young children and follow their journey and one day make a trip to meet them in person and play with them and hug them?  Totally doable.  And encouraged.

This is obviously something that Craig and I are passionate about and that is near to and heavy on our hearts.  If you would prayerfully consider getting involved in this project, we would be so very grateful.  Also, if you'd like to talk more about this project and this orphanage, we would love to talk with you!!

What is one thing that you and your family could go without each month that would allow you to give $10, $15, $30 to these children?  Pray about it. If God is nudging your heart, I would encourage you to give. And I can guarantee that this money will go directly to these children.

Thanks so much for taking the time to really means a lot to us!

"And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased."
Hebrews 13:16 NIV


workoutangel said...

Definitely something to pray about. Do you guys plan on going back soon to help build or anything?

Renee said...

Joy - I'm planning to go back sometime in October/November to follow up and do more training. Then we're hoping to take a team in the Spring.

Andrea said...

How exciting to see the Okipe project coming together! It looks like it will be a wonderful place for the kids and Mme. Soliette. Praying for God to provide everything needed - the story of what can happen when borrowing from locals is absolutely heartbreaking. We sponsor through Katie Davis' Amazima ministry in Uganda (their model of sponsorship is the same as the one Okipe has chosen to use - I love that model!), but oh these little ones from Haiti tug on my heart too... Thanks for sharing