Project #6235

Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans

by International Disaster Volunteers (IDV)
Santa is coming to the orphanage, thanks to you!
Santa is coming to the orphanage, thanks to you!

With Christmas now only a couple of days away we wanted to take the time to wish you a very Merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays) from the HTDC orphanage in Haiti.

The kids are now all literally bursting with excitement and, thanks to you, we’ll be able to make some of their Christmas dreams come true. With a little help from you “Santa” will be bringing Paolo and Manoucheca some new clothes, and there’s a funny helicopter shaped gift under the tree for Nolson. There’s gifts for all the other kids too of course.

We’re thrilled that these beautiful kids can enjoy the Holidays in the same way other kids around the world get to. The kids at HTDC may have lost their parents but thanks to you they can still experience the wonder of childhood!

Of course thanks from us is one thing, but we wanted to give the kids a chance to send you season’s greetings themselves. You can watch these greetings in this Facebook video (although Carlo, the orphanage director seems to be hogging the spotlight a little :)

Also, if you’re still keen to support the kids this Christmas, and into the New Year, there’s still time to donate if you can.

For example, there’s match funding available for any new recurring donations set up via GlobalGiving during December. On the US GlobalGiving site your initial donation will receive a 100% match after four months (a limit of $200 applies). On the UK site the terms are the same but the matching limit is £100.

Recurring donations are particularly amazing, as they allow us to plan ahead more effectively at the orphanage. But we would obviously also be very grateful for any further one time gifts you might be able to make as the Holiday season continues.

As always, if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email I would be delighted to hear from you.

Until the new year your donations can go further
Until the new year your donations can go further
Paolo is dreaming about Christmas gifts
Paolo is dreaming about Christmas gifts

The Holidays are here again and the kids at the HTDC orphanage in Haiti are starting to get really excited about Christmas.

Like children all over the world the kids have gotten into some mischief during the year. But by and large they’ve all done their chores and they’ve all worked hard in school. Ultimately they’re great kids!

This is particularly true given all they’ve been through in their often short lives. All lost their parents in some way and, despite them now having a fantastic home, there’s always a certain amount of hardship and upheaval in any orphanage.

So, because the kids all deserve it, the orphanage staff are hoping to give them a Christmas they can remember. The staff asked the kids what Christmas gifts they wanted, and here’s what some of them are wishing for.

Thirteen year old Paolo, who was abandoned by his dad, said he’d love a Playstation or some new clothes. He’s happy whatever though as he just loves December - people are happy and the temperature is much cooler than the rest of the year.

On the other hand eight year old Nolson, whose father died from Cholera, just wants a helicopter to play with.

Finally Manoucheca, who at fifteen is turning into a young woman, would love some jewellery and nice clothes - maybe she’s thinking about catching someone’s eye?

But Manoucheca also wished for something else this Christmas. Because she’s older she’s also all too aware of the sometimes violent protests which have engulfed Haiti following recent elections.

So what Manoucheca is really wishing for this Christmas is peace.

Sadly neither ourselves, or the orphanage staff, can promise Manoucheca her ultimate wish. But thanks to your amazing support we can keep providing all the kids with a safe home, food and school.

And, if you’re able to make another donation over the coming days we can also make some of the kids Christmas wishes come true as well.

As always, if you ever have any queries about how we’re using your donation, please don’t hesitate to email I would be delighted to hear from you.

Nolson would love a helicopter to play with
Nolson would love a helicopter to play with
Manoucheca wants peace, and some new clothes :)
Manoucheca wants peace, and some new clothes :)
The kids at the Caribbean Arts Festival
The kids at the Caribbean Arts Festival

It’s been a great few months at the HTDC/SMDT orphanage in Port-au-Prince.

Thanks to your incredible generosity the kids have all had a great summer that has included some fantastic days out. One of these was to the recent Caribbean Festival of Arts. In the past the festival has been hosted by many regional countries but this year it was held in Haiti for the very first time.

The kids all loved the music, arts and crafts being showcased. But, being kids, one of their favourite parts of the day was simply getting to eat ice-cream!

Another recent, exciting event for the kids was a special visit by GlobalGiving field staff from the UK. Elliott and Emily spent several days with the orphanage and got the chance to meet the wonderful kids that your kind donations support.

The kids always love having visitors but the orphanage director, Carlo, was also particularly happy in this case. This was because, as well as getting to know the kids, Elliott and Emily also spent time helping Carlo to learn more about social media.

Carlo remembers all too well the tough times the orphanage used to face. So, he’s always been keen to find more ways to show you what your support means to the kids. But, he’s sometimes lacked the confidence and knowledge to be able to communicate this directly.

So, over the course of their visit Elliott and Emily helped Carlo to better understand how to use the orphanage’s Facebook page. They also helped him to set up a Twitter account and he’s taken to it like a duck to water!

Carlo has this to say about the visit and the help he received from Elliott and Emily:

I have learned so much stuff, more on the social media, it was very helpful when they came to help me improve the way I should keep people update about what we are doing at SMDT and how to grow our network, help people understand more what we are doing. they also help me organize better our team and the orphanage system. They were very kind and helpful with all they teach me we spent about two days working on the orphanage, and I felt very comfortable with them and explain to them all I think I needed to be change”

Carlo’s now much more confident in using social media and we encourage you to “follow” him using the links above. After all, it’s one thing to for us to tell you how much your donations mean, but it’s even better for you to hear it directly from Carlo himself!

Thanks so much for your continued support.

As always, if you ever have any queries about how we’re using your donation, please don’t hesitate to email I would be delighted to hear from you.

This October 7 please consider continuing to support the orphanage by making a donation on the last ever Microsoft Youthspark Matching Day.

There is a total of $75,000 in match funds available, and between noon and midnight Eastern US time (5pm until 5am the following day in the UK) all donations made to Send Wikenson to School will be matched on a prorated basis. In other words the matching amount will be determined by what we raise divided by the total donated to all projects during the event.

Carlo's very first Tweet
Twitter's short format is great for Carlo
She's excited for the summer!

Summer has arrived in Haiti and this means that the kids at the HTDC orphanage are done with school and looking forward to a long break filled with fun and play.

But with 27 kids to look after the staff at the orphanage are going to have their hands full over the holidays!

The staff already have a lot of work to do, after all cooking and washing clothes for 27 kids is a full time job in itself. So, to help keep the kids occupied over the holidays we’re planning a full schedule of activities for them during the school break.

To start they’ll be activities at the orphanage itself including arts and crafts, English lessons for the kids and music workshops organised by a local pastor friend of the orphanage.

They’ll also be fun filled days out including trips to a local museum, the zoo and also to Haiti’s beautiful mountains. These trips will give the kids a special treat while also giving the staff a chance to focus on their chores without the young ones being underfoot.

Of course many of the kids are also turning into young adults so there will be more serious activities during the summer, as well as just fun ones.

For example some local volunteers will be visiting the orphanage to teach the older kids life-skills, and also about “the birds and the bees”.

While the kids are supervised, and always sleep in separate boys and girls dorms, it’s inevitable that they begin to get curious as they get older. Given that many of the kids came to the orphanage because their own parents couldn’t afford to care for them it’s vital that they get the education they need to make the right choices for their own futures.

When we first started working with the orphanage it was impossible for the staff and kids to look beyond the day-to-day struggle to survive. So, it’s amazing that five years later the kids are being taught how to help break the cycle of poverty which brought many of them to the orphanage in the first place.

All of this is only possible because of your enduring support over the years!

You’ve already given so much to help the kids at the orphanage but this July 15 we’re asking you please consider supporting these beautiful children once again.  This is because on July 15 GlobalGiving will be matching donations to this project by an amazing 50%.

Matching will start at 9am Eastern Time (or 1pm in the UK) and donations up to $1,000 (or around £670) per donor will be matched while funds remain. So, please consider making a gift on July 15, and please also spread the word about this incredible opportunity.

As always, if you ever have any queries about how we’re using your donation, please don’t hesitate to email I would be delighted to hear from you.

The kids love arts and crafts
The kids love arts and crafts
It's a great day to help Wisly and all the kids
The kids enjoyed a day on the beach last month
The kids enjoyed a day on the beach last month

Thanks to your amazing support it’s been a fantastic few months for the kids at the HTDC orphanage.

After many months of uncertainty with the house we’ve finally decided to keep the orphanage in its current location. We’d originally looked at moving the kids as the landlord had added a second floor to the building and wanted the orphanage to rent the entire property.

This was more room than the kids needed and, rather than pay for the unnecessary space, we’d decided to look elsewhere. But while we were searching for a new home for the kids the landlord had a change of heart.

He’s since decided that the orphanage can continue to rent the original ground floor only.  What’s more he’s agreed to use the rent to further improve the property by concreting the grounds. This will provide a much healthier environment for the kids as it will eliminate standing water and mosquitoes.

Overall it’s a good solution and means that the kids can stop worrying about the uncertainty and get on with just being kids!  And what fun they’ve been having recently!

This year the orphanage directors have really wanted to give the kids a monthly activity to enjoy. All the kids had rough starts in life and these activities are a great way of giving them back some of the joy of being kids.

In February for example the orphanage held a carnival party to coincide with the national carnival celebrations. The kids dressed up in exotic clothes, had their faces painted and enjoyed carnival music and dances.

In March there was an amazing trip to the beach. The kids always love getting out of the house, but to leave the city and visit the sea is a very special treat indeed!  On the beach the kids had food and drinks and above all, a great time.

Then in April, to mark Easter, the kids enjoyed painting eggs, just like kids in lots of other countries.

Next month Haiti will celebrate its agriculture and the kids will also get involved here. The orphanage directors are planning to take the kids outside the city again, but this time to help plant trees.  This will teach the kids about deforestation and protecting the environment.

It’s all thanks to you that the kids at HTDC not only have a safe home, food and school, but they also have their childhoods back again.  Thanks so much for supporting these beautiful children!

As always, if you ever have any queries about how we’re using your donation, please don’t hesitate to email I would be delighted to hear from you.

Thanks to ALM Photography for providing these photos.

Even at home, the kids are still having fun!
Even at home, the kids are still having fun!

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Organization Information

International Disaster Volunteers (IDV)

Location: Bristol, Somerset - United Kingdom
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Andy Chaggar
Bristol, Somerset United Kingdom
2016 Year End Campaign
Time left to give
$161,538 raised of $180,000 goal
2,299 donations
$18,462 to go
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