Purpose

In developing countries like Haiti, HIV/AIDS is one of the most significant health issues. This potentially deadly virus requires medical intervention to treat it successfully and education to eradicate the spread of it. Ignorance and stigma make getting treatment a difficult process. Adults and innocent children are frequently turned away from hospitals and denied care. Children are robbed of their childhood and scorned by their community.

Rainbow House was the first orphanage to provide a haven for children affected by HIV/AIDS. It was conceived by Danielle and her Haitian-born husband Robert Penette. They left their corporate careers in Canada in 1995 to follow their vision of a refuge for infected children in Haiti. Their first home was an abandoned mansion that the Haitian government allowed them to renovate and use rent-free for more than a decade.

In 2010 they moved into their newly constructed two-story concrete home on eight acres in the mountains above Port-Au-Prince. The brightly colored walls and doors throughout the home create a bright and happy atmosphere. It matches the laughter from the orphans playing on the patio and the chatter coming from the long tables where they are doing homework.

For every child there lives

hope

Rainbow House sits high in the hills just east of Port-au-Prince. Its proximity to the capital has attracted the poor from outlying areas and shantytowns dot the hillsides.

Program Highlights

HANDS ON PROGRAMS HELP TO SUPPORT THE CHILDREN

In recent years funding in Haiti has been directed toward emergency relief efforts for the horrific earthquakes, hurricanes and floods that have ravaged this destitute country. With many mouths to feed, the Penettes were forced to implement programs to help support and feed the children. They began with a chicken husbandry and planted a large vegetable garden.

They continue to work at decreasing the stigma surrounding the children through hosting workshops and making home visits to integrate the infected children into the community.

There are currently 31 boys and girls at the home, but with additional funding they would be able to care for more children. Rainbow House provides the children with:

  • A safe and loving home
  • Virus-fighting medications
  • Round the clock nursing and weekly visits by a doctor
  • Transportation to nearby schools
  • Counseling with healthcare workers at the age of 16 to begin developing a plan to live independently at 18
  • Scholarships to universities or vocational training schools

These children are growing into young adults who are preparing to get jobs and live independently. They are the new generation of Haitians better equipped to care for themselves and others.

Costs

SPECIALIZED CARE OF INFECTED CHILDREN IS COSTLY
Medical

Health care 24/7.

  • $1,500 per month pays for three nurses and a social worker
  • $750 per month covers the cost of weekly visits by a doctor
  • $100 per month provides pharmaceutical supplies and tests
Nutrition

A balanced diet and proper nutrition are important for any child, but even more so for children with HIV/AIDS.

  • $920 per month to purchase additional vegetables, milk, rice and other staples
  • $115 per month to ensure clean water is delivered daily
  • $25 per month to feed one child
Education

Education for the children is a key to living independently in the future.

  • $600 per month pays for school fees, books and supplies
  • $285 per month assists with the reintegration expenses
  • $130 per month ensures the 31 children have clothes