Children's Village in Haiti
Ignoring poverty should not be an option
The United Nations calls Haiti the “silent emergency” where hunger and poverty paralyze entire communities with more than 60% of Haitians living without running water or sanitation. Imagine your family living in an eight by eight room with a dirt floor and no windows. Your family often goes hungry and is plagued by fever and abdominal pain. This is the story of most people in Haiti.
All it takes is a little support and encouragement for families to begin to heal and work toward a brighter future. With your assistance, we can help additional families and change the course of their lives.
Focus and determination laid the foundation
Haitian born Gladys Thomas came to the United States with a singular goal of obtaining a nursing degree and returning home to help the people in her very poor country. She had no idea what was in store for her, but she knew the future would begin with helping children.
Soon after returning to Haiti, Gladys was asked to be the director of an orphanage that had been abandoned by its previous administrator and today is known as Hope Home at Children’s Village. Gladys rolled up her sleeves and went to work. She burned all of the mattresses and scrubbed the rooms clean. The home was once again ready to serve abandoned children.
Her first stop was at Port-au-Prince General Hospital where she had once worked. She knew that parents often dropped off their sick and disabled children there and never returned. In the hospital’s “abandoned children’s room” she found 23 small bodies lying on the floor or in broken cribs surrounded by filth. Their basic needs were barely being met much less the medical care that they needed.
She could not walk away from these children like others had. She hired local women to be house mothers and welcomed all 23 of the unwanted children into the revived orphanage. Gladys embraced these children and pledged to care for them with love and dignity.
From one small home grew the Children’s Village
During the past three decades, Gladys has built Children’s Village that currently cares for and educates more than 150 children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The Village includes the original orphanage Hope Home for disabled children, Children’s Home for abandoned children and New Academy of Excellence primary school.
Hope Home at Children’s Village serves 24 severely disabled children
The Hope Home orphanage currently provides round-the-clock care for 24 severely disabled children who suffer numerous disorders from cerebral palsy to extreme autism. Many are unable to feed themselves, change their clothes or even go to the bathroom by themselves. Here they are cared for with love.
The children receive emotional support and stimulation from therapists who work with them to develop their cognitive and motor skills. A few children can use walkers, engage in matching colors, stacking blocks and identifying images. Most though are secured to their wheelchairs and not able to communicate.
Children’s Home at Children’s Village provides refuge for 82 orphans
Children are the heartbreaking victims of a very poor economy which gives poverty-stricken parents few options. They often have no choice but to abandon their children at the doorsteps of hospitals and on street corners. Some give their children to other families to serve as restaveks. Restavek is a long-standing legal practice in Haiti and a form of modern-day slavery. Their world is dark and hopeless.
At Children’s Home there is light and hope. These children live like any other family just one that is a whole lot bigger. If they can locate a relative, Children’s Home encourages that family member to visit the child and participate in their care when they are able.
- The children eat together, play together and go to school together.
- Each of the bedrooms has a “room mom” that sleeps in the room each night to give the children a sense of parental security. This connection delivers comfort to the children that many other orphanages do not.
The New Academy of Excellence at Children’s Village cultivates 132 young minds
This Christian-based primary school provides a strong educational foundation through sixth grade. Children from Hope Home and Children’s Home attend as well as 50 more from the surrounding neighborhood. The academy also has a special needs classroom where therapists and teachers work with disabled children.
In Haiti, when children complete sixth grade most of the parents expect them to quit school and go to work to help support their family. Less than 22% of children in Haiti ever get more than an elementary education. The Academy is very proud of the 20 Children’s Village students that they sponsor to attend nearby high schools.
The New Academy of Excellence puts the light of courage in the once lifeless eyes of forgotten children. Once a child feels the power of an education, they want to learn more and realize this is a giant step forward that will enable them to have a brighter future and to help provide for their family.
Meet Marven the miracle child
Marven was abandoned at a hospital after an operation to install a shunt for his hydrocephalus. He was a smart and happy young boy but his shunt often clogged and the infections sent him back to the hospital numerous times. One day he slipped into a coma. The doctors gave him no hope for recovery and sent him back to Hope Home to be cared for until his death. Marven’s house mother watched over him for weeks refusing to give up.
Miracles do happen. Marven did wake up and looked into the eyes of his house mother and smiled. Marven not only survived, he has also continued to improve and now is going to school and playing with his classmates. Marven has moved out of Hope Home and into Children’s Home next door.
A little money goes a long way in developing countries like Haiti
All Children supports the medical, nutritional and educational needs of these young lives at Children’s Village. These are the lucky ones that have a loving place to call home. They have a bed to sleep in, three nutritious meals a day and go to school. They are building a future for themselves in a struggling and hostile country. Join us in continuing Gladys’ wonderful work.
Without medical care there is no future
Seizure medication, scans and so much more are needed for these children. Each year there are children who also need hospitalization and specialists. Thanks to the support of All Children and our donors these children receive the medical care that they require.
- $850 per month pays for all the childrens day to day medical care needs
- $700 per month pays for five therapists
- $500 per month provides medicine, scans, EKG assessments and hospital visits
- $350 per month provides all the hygiene needs for the children
Nutrition for the body so the mind can learn
Children are the most visible victims of malnutrition. Living with daily hunger has dire consequences like stunting growth, compromised immune systems and impaired intellectual development. One of the largest expenses at the Village is food.
- $3,000 per month feeds the entire Children’s Village
- $2,000 per month feeds the 82 orphans at Children’s Home
- $800 per month feeds the 24 disabled children at Hope Home
- $200 per month provides daily snacks for all the children
Education is the pathway out of poverty
Education equips the children with the necessary skills to be able to work and have the awareness necessary to improve their lives. Better opportunities are available for those who can read and write.
- $3,800 per month covers the salaries for all 17 teachers and assistants
- $400 per month covers all the costs of books and educational materials
- $335 per month pays for a new uniform for every child at the beginning of each school year
- $150 per month provides paper, pencils, erasers and art supplies
These children will be the future of a stronger Haiti that is better educated and more compassionate. You have a special opportunity to stimulate the minds and nourish the bodies of these children. Please consider supporting Children’s Village in Port-au-Prince.
All Children, Inc. is a 501(c)3 global nonprofit organization that protects, empowers and advocates for at-risk children living in extreme poverty. Our main objective is to provide medical care, nutrition, education and shelter with attention to children with mental and physical disabilities.
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To download the Children’s Village brochure, click here. For more information on this program and other All Children projects visit allchildren.org.
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