Project #6235

Provide a safe home for Haitian Orphans

by International Disaster Volunteers (IDV)
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!
The kids are thriving at their new school
The kids are thriving at their new school

Thanks to your incredible support the kids at the HTDC orphanage are continuing to thrive!

Because of your generosity all the kids are safe, enjoying nutritious meals and receiving the education they need to build bright futures.

But, owing to the current situation in Haiti, they need you now more than ever!

In our last project report we explained that we were planning to move the orphanage to the Bon Repos area of Port-au-Prince.  We’d identified several properties and our favorite choice seemed ideal.

Sadly, due to a worsening political crisis, the security situation now means that we’re not confident Bon Repos will be a safe enough area for the kids, at least not after night falls.

There are other houses available in other neighborhoods, including in Clercine, where the orphanage has been based for the last several years.  So, the kids will still have a safe new home.

But the kids are also already enrolled and settled in a new school in Bon Repos, which is still safe in the day.  While we could move them to another school, nearer their eventual new home, their school fees have already been paid and it would disrupt the kids’ education and friendships.

If we can, keeping the kids in their current school is definitely the best option for the remainder of the school year.

But the challenge the kids now face is being driven to school everyday until June.  This is expensive and it costs almost $450 a month to hire a vehicle.

We’d previously budgeted for only four months of school transport costs, so we’re very sorry to report that HTDC is now facing around $2,700 in additional, unforeseen costs over the next six months.

The cost to send each child to school for the year is now set to be $114 more than the $483 originally budgeted.  We are genuinely sorry to all those donors who have already funded a year of school for a specific child as there is now a shortfall for each child.

This is why the kids need you right now more than ever before.

We’re now asking you to consider helping the kids once again.  But this time, rather than asking you to just keep paying for the kids needs, we’re asking you to help the orphanage meet its own needs.

We’ve already begun fundraising on GlobalGiving to buy a vehicle for the orphanage.  The original goal of this effort was to “Give 30 Orphaned Children a Sustainable Income” by purchasing a vehicle the orphanage could rent out during the day to earn money.

But, if we’re able to buy this vehicle soon we can continue with these plans and, at the same time, the orphanage can also save money by driving the kids to school themselves.

So please consider contributing towards the vehicle costs today.

Once again, we’re sorry that the changing security situation in Port-au-Prince has affected our original budget.

If you have any questions about this issue, or in general, please don’t hesitate to email I would be delighted to hear from you.

The orphanage staff are looking for a new house
The orphanage staff are looking for a new house
The orphanage needs a vehicle like this one.
The orphanage needs a vehicle like this one.
Nicholson and Paolo performed a song for Christmas
Nicholson and Paolo performed a song for Christmas

The holiday season is upon us and, like children all over the world, the kids at HTDC orphanage are getting really excited about Christmas.

To help keep their excitement in check, and because the kids have all been so good this year, the orphanage directors recently decided to have a Christmas party ahead of the big day.

Many friends of the orphanage came by and the party started with a performance from the kids.  Thirteen year old Nicholson and twelve year old Paolo sang a song about Haiti and then some of the older girls performed a dance.

The visitors all loved the show and afterwards everyone shared pizza which was a special treat for the kids.

After eating there was another big surprise for the kids as Santa dropped by to give them all presents.  Five year old Bodlison was delighted with the toy cars he received, but he said afterwards he’d really like to get a car big enough to drive in one day!

It was a wonderful experience for all the children and special days like these are only made possible because of your incredible support.

It’s only because of your generosity that the kids have a safe home, food and education throughout the year.  And these are the foundations which allow the orphanage to provide the kids with special days of joy at times like Christmas.

Thanks so much for letting these kids be kids this Christmas!

If you’d like to give the orphanage a little more joy over the next few days then GlobalGiving is making this a little easier through their Year-End campaign.  Projects that raise at least $3,000 from thirty unique donors before December 31 are eligible to receive a one-off bonus award.  

We’ve already raised over $3,000 but we need more individual donors.  So please consider donating this week if you can.

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.

Santa dropped by to give all the kids gifts
Santa dropped by to give all the kids gifts

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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

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