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 Children  Haiti Project #6235

Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans

by International Disaster Volunteers (IDV)
Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans
Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans
Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans
Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans
Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans
Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans
Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans
Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans
Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans
Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans
Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans
Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans
Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans
Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans
Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans
Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans
Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans
Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans
Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans
Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans
Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans
Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans
Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans
Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans
Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans
Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans
Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans
Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans
The new house has lots of shade
The new house has lots of shade

Thanks to your incredible generosity we have some big news to share from the HTDC orphanage in Haiti! 

In a project report last December we explained how long-running political unrest in Haiti had led to rising costs and reduced income for the orphanage. In turn, this had caused plans to build a new house for the orphanage to be postponed, and they'd been forced to extend the lease on their existing property for another six months as a result.

That six months soon passed and, with the situation still volatile, the orphanage Director Carlo reached out in May to discuss plans to downsize:

"Due to all the protest problems in Haiti since July 2018, I was not able to get funds to work on the construction for the new place. That’s why we had to pay for six months and now we need to pay again this month. We suppose to pay for another six months - from now to November. 

Due to the Coronavirus there are even more costs. For example, the water cost increases because we use more water this time to clean. We use a lot of water to clean the house and clothes everyday.

But we have an idea because we have a little less kids now because a few were already adopted. So, we think because of the situation we should keep the number like this. This way we can find another house for a cheaper price - between $6000 - $7000 for a year, and make sure we keep all the kids and workers safe and looked after”.

We agreed this plan made sense, and we told Carlo we could help with the costs if he could find a house. And it didn’t take him long.

We soon received another update that Carlo had found somewhere great. Carlo explained as follows:

“We have found a great place very close to our current house. It’s in a very safe area, just 5 minutes to the USA Embassy. There is running water and also electricity more of the time. We can also take our batteries from the current house for when the power is out”.

Carlo also sent some photos which you can see with this report. We agreed it was a great house and, thanks to your incredible donations, Carlo was quickly able to pay the rent and take possession. We asked how he was getting on:

“The new house is smaller but the kids like the place because there is more shade in the garden, and they are excited that the playground from the old house is being set up now. We also build better beds for the new house and not bring the very old ones with us. We want to buy better mattresses too. We painted the place, and we fixed the yard and built a place where the kids can eat outside and watch TV and do other activities.

Thank you to all the donors who help us move. Now the kids and staff are all secure for the next year, and we worry less in this new place”

We echo Carlo’s thanks. It’s the end of an era moving from the old house which the kids have called home for almost a decade. In fact it was your amazing generosity that allowed us to rent the old house not long after the 2010 earthquake. But the orphanage’s needs have changed over the years and with your support they’re now ready to start a new chapter.

Thanks so much again for your incredible support. If you ever have any questions about the orphanage and how we use your donations, please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org. I would be delighted to hear from you.

The garden is very peaceful
The garden is very peaceful
More shade has also been built outside
More shade has also been built outside
The playground is being set up
The playground is being set up
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The kids are smiling because of you
The kids are smiling because of you

Thanks so much for your continued support for the children at the HTDC Orphanage in Haiti.

In our last update we asked you to help provide some Christmas cheer at the orphanage, which was facing ongoing political unrest and violence outside its gates.

Many of you responded and as a result of your generosity the kids got the Christmas they deserved. Orphanage Director Carlo had this to say:

Thanks to the donors we bought toys for all the kids. All our kids get two toys and they loved having a Christmas party. Christelle was very happy she got some toys that she wanted to have. Nolson got balls and cars that he can drive with remote control. He loves it and he was very happy. Thank you!”.

We echo Carlo’s thanks. The children had a great Christmas because of you!

Sadly the unrest in Haiti has continued into the new year however. February should have been a joyous time as the country celebrated Carnival. Unfortunately gun shots on the streets meant that Port-au-Prince’s celebrations were cut short.

As always Carlo was keen to keep things inside the orphanage as normal as possible:

“The political situation in Haiti is the same, but we are doing our best for the kids to feel more comfortable. So, we had our own carnival party for the kids with music and painting faces”.

Even after working with Carlo for ten years we still continue to be amazed by his resilience and determination in the face of adversity. The orphanage and children are fortunate to benefit from his leadership, especially as they’re now facing yet another threat.

While the Haitian government hasn’t reported any suspected or known cases of Coronavirus preparations are intensifying as more cases start to emerge in the region, including in the neighbouring Dominican Republic (DR).

Many people in Haiti lack basic knowledge about what the virus is, how it spreads and how to help prevent it, so training and education is vital, including within the orphanage itself. Carlo explained as follows:

“I am hiring two people to train the staff for a couple weeks about hygiene specifically for the Coronavirus. It is close to us now with a couple cases in the DR next door.

I am trying to set up a water station to make sure the kids wash their hands as often as possible to prevent it. I’m also getting them more vitamins and good food to help them keep their immune system strong.

We also take stronger steps to make sure when people come to the orphanage they make sure they wash their hands before access. The teacher also start telling the kids about the virus to help them understand the situation and keep teaching them how to wash their hands as often as possible.

I would like to know if it’s possible for the donors to help out with some funds as an emergency fund, to be ready in case the Coronavirus comes badly to Haiti. We are currently doing our best to keep the place cleaner and have the kids wash their hands, but we will need to buy more cleaning products and keep providing good food for the kids to keep their immune system on top.”

Like in our last report, we know you’ve already given so much, but we’re hope you can continue supporting the HTDC orphanage as they brace for yet another impact. If you ever have any questions about the orphanage and how we use your donations, please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org. I would be delighted to hear from you.

Some of the Christmas gifts you provided
Some of the Christmas gifts you provided
Face paint for Carnival
Face paint for Carnival
See you next time for more updates from Haiti
See you next time for more updates from Haiti
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The kids would like a Christmas party like this
The kids would like a Christmas party like this

Thanks to your incredible support the kids at the HTDC Orphanage all have a safe home this Christmas. Your generous donations have also helped to provide other essentials, including nutritious meals, throughout 2019. 

Yet outside the gates political unrest and violence continues to flare in Port-au-Prince. Orphanage Director Carlo described the situation and the impacts on life at the orphanage as follows:

“Life is not very good here at the moment. There is a very unpredictable security situation since September. On any given day there can be protests and dangerous barricades in any neighborhood which hinders transportation and the operation of businesses.

[Our neighbourhood,] Clercine is caught between two neighborhoods that are often blocked off. Electricity has been more sparse than usual; and access to gasoline and charcoal is also unstable.

Access to food, water, propane and other basic needs are severely restricted because neighborhoods are blocked off and there is no access from provincial areas where many of these basic needs come from. All prices increase because of the roadblocks.”

The situation is proving to be a double whammy for Carlo who also manages adoption cases in partnership with IBESR (the Haitian Institute for Social Welfare & Research). After each case is completed Carlo receives funding which helps support the orphanage’s running costs, but the unrest is affecting this too. Carlo explained as follows:

“Because of this unpredictable situation the government offices are being closed most of the time. So, adoption cases are moving very, very, very slowly. The adoptive families have also not been able to visit since September andy many of my cases are held up.

As I don’t complete any recent case our saving is almost finished. We try to keep the orphanage running on a very low budget because of the riots and political problems that affect us. And now the house owner is asking for the rent money [for 2020].

We planned to start construction of the new house by now, so not to have to pay the rent this year but the current situation of the country makes our plans delayed. We still hope to start soon but for now we need to pay six months rent.”

Overall, it’s a tough situation - rising prices, lower income and bills mounting up! If left on their own the orphanage and all the children in its care would be facing ruin. Happily, thanks to your incredible support of our microprojects here on GlobalGiving, we have enough to pay the six months rent demanded by the landlord.

However, the children also still all need food and an education moving forward. Many are also obviously hoping Christmas will provide a little much needed cheer. Carlo explained again:

The older kids understand a bit about the problems, but the little ones are asking when Santa is coming to celebrate with them. They would all like some nice food and a party. They also ask about some new clothes and toys. Nine year old Kenson would like a toy helicopter and police car, and ten year old Mirlande would like a dress. 

Can you please help with this too?

We’d love to give the children some Christmas gifts this year, but we’re also conscious that basic essentials have to come first. 

We know you’ve already given so much, but if you’re able to make a further donation this Christmas we’d be incredibly grateful - it would really help to put a smile on the faces of Kenson and the other children.

Thanks so much again for your continued support. If you ever have any questions about the orphanage and how we use your donations, please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org. I would be delighted to hear from you.

Thanks to you their rent's been paid for 6 months
Thanks to you their rent's been paid for 6 months
Working hard in school
Working hard in school
A helicopter would make Kenson smile this Xmas
A helicopter would make Kenson smile this Xmas
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A wonderful new playground, thanks to you!
A wonderful new playground, thanks to you!

Thanks to your amazing generosity the kids at the HTDC Orphanage have all enjoyed their summer despite the overall situation in Haiti remaining fragile.

The political unrest we described in our last report has continued as fuel shortages have hit the country. Major highways in Port-au-Prince have been blocked by protesters angry at rising prices. 

This means travel around the city continues to be difficult, even dangerous, and so taking the children out on trips hasn’t been possible.

Happily, the orphanage Director Carlo has found a solution to keep the kids occupied. Rather than take the children out for entertainment he’s brought the entertainment to them!

In August, with your support and the support of others, a playground was built on the orphanage’s property. Artificial grass has been laid. Swings, a roundabout and a see-saw have been installed, and there’s even a little pool to keep the kids cool in the heat of the day.

Carlo had this to say about the playground:

“We would like to thank IDV’s donors for all the help because without you guys we wouldn’t have that place for the kids to play. The kids never get tired of playing and the new little pool for them to swim, they stay all day this summer on the playground.”

We also asked the kids what they thought and Keson had this to say:

The playground looks like other playgrounds I see in the movies! Thank you!”

We agree that the playground looks amazing and we’ve included some photos in this report. It’s fantastic that even though turmoil continues on the streets outside, the orphanage remains a safe, stimulating oasis inside. Thanks so much for making this possible.

Carlo’s not stopped with the playground however, and he’s also been working hard on future plans for the orphanage.

While their current house meets all the children’s needs we’ve always remained conscious that the orphanage remains reliant on donor’s generosity to pay the rent.

So, for many years Carlo’s vision has been to build their own house on land you helped them to buy many years ago. For a long while this vision remained just that, but this year Carlo’s started looking at ways to make this dream a reality. He explained as follows:

For the construction we now have an estimate for about $115,000 but this is for two levels of the building. For now we can start with  the first floor. This would have 2 dormitories for about 40 kids and two toilets and bathrooms on each dormitory, a living room, office and a little clinic. In the back we can have a playground for the kids. We can take the material you helped us with this summer. We estimate everything for the first floor will cost $60,000”

This isn’t a small amount of money but given that the rent is currently over $10,000 a year in the long-term building a new house would make the orphanage much more sustainable.

So, we’re keen to help if we can, and over the coming weeks and months we’ll be working with Carlo to develop a more detailed budget and plan. So, stay tuned for more updates.

Meanwhile, thanks so much again for your continued support. If you ever have any questions about the orphanage and how we use your donations, please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org. I would be delighted to hear from you.

Artificial grass can be moved with the orphanage
Artificial grass can be moved with the orphanage
There's even a small pool for staying cool
There's even a small pool for staying cool
Concept drawings for the new orphanage
Concept drawings for the new orphanage
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Some of the kids waiting for their Easter dinner
Some of the kids waiting for their Easter dinner

Thanks to your ongoing generosity the kids at the HTDC Orphanage in Haiti continue to have a safe home, food and an education.

Your support is more vital now than ever as the political problems we described in our last report have continued to plague Port-au-Prince. Carlo, the orphanage director, explained:

“We all are doing OK but the situation here is not good at all because of protests.On the south and the north side of Port-au-Prince there is gang members fighting all the time, and people are dying everyday. Most of the older kids understand the situation and they are asking questions about it, especially when they hear gunshots and news”.

It’s a traumatic time in general, and the situation is also having knock-on effects on the kids education. Carlo continued:

“Because of the situation we can’t finish the exams. We are trying to make sure we finish the exams this week, but not all the teacher can make it because of shooting and gunshots everywhere and every day since June 9”.

It’s sad to hear updates like these, particularly when so many of the kids have already had to deal with so many challenges in their lives. But Carlo and the rest of the orphanage staff are really committed, and we know they’ll find a way to soldier on as long as supporters like you continue to rally round.

For example, while travel is risky Carlo was still able to organise a special dinner for the kids over Easter, and this provided some much needed cheer.

Carlo’s also still hopeful that he can keep the kids entertained over the summer. He explained as follows:

“We were planning to go to the beach this coming Saturday, but if the protests continue we will take the kids to a swimming pool instead.

For July we are planning a summer camp. We will try to have a music class for the kids and art classes to make sandals and more. Because the normal teachers can’t travel, my church is willing to help me with some teachers they have to help us organize the summer camp”.

As always we’re amazed by Carlo’s resilience, but we also know that his determination and optimism are a direct result of knowing that you’re there to help in tough times. Thank you so much, now more than ever.

If you ever have any questions about the orphanage and how we use your donations, please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org. I would be delighted to hear from you.

It's a feast!
It's a feast!
Sitting down to eat
Sitting down to eat
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Organization Information

International Disaster Volunteers (IDV)

Location: Bristol, Somerset - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @IDVMedia
Project Leader:
Andy Chaggar
Bristol, Somerset United Kingdom

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