So this week I’m going to try and post a bit about Haiti. On Thursday we are launching a new charity called ‘Hope House Haiti (UK)’ to support Hope House Orphanage & School in rural Haiti. Here’s a bit of background…
On January 12, 2010, Haiti suffered a devastating earthquake, with a death toll estimated at 220,000. The capital city, Port-au-Prince, was effectively levelled. A million Haitians
were left homeless, and hundreds of thousands are hungry.
Three years on there has been little visible progress. Much of the rubble remains in Port-au-Prince, and a lot of the money initially given in aid to Haiti never reached the people who needed it the most. Hundreds of thousands still live in make-shift camps, unemployment is ridiculously high, and most children are denied their most basic childhood needs.
|Yvrose, Pierre Richard and their family of orphans|
In the aftermath of the earthquake, with so many displaced people, Yvrose, a Haitian born teacher, and her husband Pierre-Richard, set about trying to reunite displaced and orphaned children with members of their families. When all avenues were exhausted, they looked after the children themselves and set up an orphanage currently offering a safe and loving family environment for over twenty children aged from a few months to teenagers.
Initially they lived in a tent and later a one roomed house. They had no water, sanitation or electricity. Two years ago the organisation ‘Victory Compassion’ provided them with 3 small metal prefab buildings and they now have an indoor kitchen, where school meals are also cooked.
Many of the children they look after are siblings but each child has their own story of past neglect or such great a desire for education that they suffered great hardship just to get to school, some walk hours to get there, sleep in the fields during the week and go without food. Yvrose and Pierre Richard live by faith, trusting God for all their needs.
|Part of the Hope House site.|
They have also established a school in their remote region at the foot of the mountains, which is aimed at the poorest children in the community, offering a free education and a meal for each child – often the only meal the children get that day. There are now around 260 children attending the school each day. They employ 11 teachers, 1 director and an administrator, plus school cooks and a care taker at the school.
Initially the school met in tents but they deteriorated in the sun and hurricanes left them no longer usable. They are now housed in an open sided , metal framed barn type building. Donors from England kindly purchased wood last year and Pierre Richard taught the older boys how to make the wooden benches as previously the children sat on rocks and concrete blocks.
|Inside the school building|
I have friends who have been out to Hope House and seen for themselves how little the children have, their stories are heart breaking. Even the basic of needs are luxuries there. I am delighted to be part of the new charity supporting Hope House and I pray that God will use us to bless them abundantly…