Project #7559

Supporting Haitian Orphans and Families

by REBUILD Globally
Bertrand looking good in his school uniform.
Bertrand looking good in his school uniform.

Slight and soft spoken, Rodrigue came to REBUILD globally by way of his bright 16-year-old son, Bertrand. A member of RG’s Apprenticeship Program, Bertrand had a problem: he was afraid to sleep because gunshots kept him up at night. Bertrand and his family lived in Cité Soleil, Haiti’s largest slum and notorious for gang violence, extreme poverty, and a lack of infrastructure. Rodrigue and his children often heard gunshots, but after Bertrand was chased by gang members one night, the father knew he had to do something to keep his children safe.

He turned to REBUILD globally. We provided Bertrand with immediate interim safe housing and offered Rodrigue employment and a micro-loan to move his family to a safer area. A mason by trade, Rodrigue has made drastic improvements to the REBUILD shop, leading to a safer and more functional workspace for everyone.

Prior to working for REBUILD Rodrigue relied on infrequent construction jobs. Sometimes his profession proved lucrative, but more often his family was forced to stretch his earnings, never knowing the next time he would find work. With RG, Rodrigue knows where his next paycheck is coming from. With RG, Rodrigue was able to move to a place where his children no longer have to run from stray bullets.

Because of the generous support of donors like you, were are able to not only employ members of our community in Port-au-Prince, we are able to go above and beyond to meet their dire and specialized needs. Because of your support Bertrand and his siblings can sleep safe at night, and their father can put food on their table and clothes on their back. You donation means dignity for Haitians, and addresses poverty at the root of the problem. Thank you.

To hear more about Bertrand, Rodrigue, and others thriving because of their work with REBUILD globally, follow us on Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter. Join the REBUILD movement by purchasing your own pair of recycled tire sandals at Ron Jon Surf Shop in Coco Beach, McKevlin’s Surf Shop in Folly Beach, or our online store.

Rodrigue working hard to improve the shop!
Rodrigue working hard to improve the shop!
Bertrand goes for the ball at RG basketball game!
Bertrand goes for the ball at RG basketball game!


James and Andremen
James and Andremen


When we first met James, we assumed he was an orphan.   16 year-old James lived and worked the streets, begging for money and washing car windows—in hopes to have enough pocket change to help feed himself and pay for his school fees. Our assumption was completely wrong.  Although James seemed to be on his own - he was not an orphan. Raised by an unemployed single mother in the crime-ridden slums of Cité Soleil, James and his siblings have had a very rough life so far. His dangerous work on the streets nearly cost James his life last year when he was hit by a taptap, the local transportation. Thankfully James received the necessary surgery, saving his leg and his life, due in large part to generous REBUILD donors whose contributions helped offset the costs of his medical care.

Because donors like you support RG staff to live and learn in Haiti.  We are able to target the root problem for children like James.  Now, James’ life is completely different. This year, he is a REBUILD Apprentice and enjoys a full academic scholarship along with artisan technical training and life skills classes on Saturday. At his weekly tutoring session James works on his 6th grade math and language subjects. He is excited to be in school and knows what an amazing opportunity it is, “You can’t go anywhere in the world without school. You need it,” gushes James.

With your generous support, REBUILD globally is also able to address the root cause of James’ struggles: his mother’s unemployment. After obtaining a micro-loan for safer housing, James’ mother is now a full time artisan at the REBUILD shop. A portion of her salary goes toward paying off her loan; the rest goes home with her and her family.

This family is an amazing example of the holistic approach REBUILD takes on community development when supported by people like YOU. We know that poverty, hunger, homeless children, and education are all huge problems in Port-au-Prince; we also know that all of these issues can be addressed by providing the opportunity for gainful employment and family reunification. By giving James an alternative to living on the streets and investing in his education, as well as providing the living-wage occupation of his mother, together, we have created a lasting and meaningful pathway out of poverty for their entire family.

We can't thank you enough for changing lives for children and families in Haiti.

In Solidarity,

The RG Family


Jolina gives shoeless boys new sandals
Jolina gives shoeless boys new sandals

Dear Friend of REBUILD,

Recently, we have witnessed the effects of Hurricane Sandy on the people of Port-au-Prince. The amount of flooding in Haiti has killed 65 people, destroyed roads, and severely diminished crops and food supplies.  Many vulnerable families are suffering even worse fates from this increased level of food scarcity, which REBUILD is continuing to combat through our living-wage employment program for moms.

Although our children battle a myriad of obstacles-whether it is food scarcity, natural disasters, or monetary depravation- they are able to stay strong because YOU are helping them. Your donations have: allowed mothers to have sustainable jobs, provided orphan boys and girls with sandals to walk safely on dirt roads, and put children in school rather than keep them on the street.

As we have learned throughout our years in Haiti, many children in orphanages do have parents, but due to continued hardships, parents sometimes find themselves unable to provide the most basic of needs for their children. These children are placed in orphanages by their parents and, when they reach adolescence, are forced to vulnerably occupy the streets. By providing these children with the simple commodity of sandals, we are able to help eradicate possible sicknesses. One example being worms, obtained from walking barefoot.

The importance of our mission, however, begins with the individual, and expands to encompass Haiti itself. We have developed REBUILD to halt the problem before it begins: by employing the mothers of Port-au-Prince. These mothers use tires to make the very sandals we are providing these orphaned children with. With this vision, we are able to keep families together and provide a cyclic, self-sustaining economy in Haiti. This is all possible because of YOU. 

Our next challenge is to sell all of the beautiful, handmade sandals coming from our workshop! Support us by visiting our online store and purchasing your pair of REBUILDERs today! As always, you can stay up to date on our efforts by following us on facebook and youtube!

Thank you,

The REBUILD Globally Team

James and his mom: Both employed by RG!
James and his mom: Both employed by RG!
The effects of Hurricane Sandy
The effects of Hurricane Sandy
Claudette on the right with the children.
Claudette on the right with the children.
Dear REBUILD Supporters,
Your generous contributions have continued to put sandals on the feet of barefoot children while supporting living wage employment for Haitian mothers and fathers. YOU are  fulfilling the mission of REBUILD globally. YOU have also help increase awareness about the reality of orphaned and destitute children in Port-au-Prince and all throughout Haiti.
While there are many children whose parents have passed, there are also many children who can simply not be taken care of by their parents due to joblessness. Parents simply cannot afford to meet the basic needs like shelter and food, and turn to the orphanages to house their children.  When the children age out of this orphan home situation or do not fit in, they become the most vulnerable population we have encountered.  They are on the cusp of adolescence or have zero education and are now expected to provide for themselves.  Many of them are out on the streets and in danger. 
These vulnerable  street boys are truly the heart and “sole” of our operation. While we have always provided these children with shoes to wear, food to eat, and funds for school; we are now able to do something even more substantial: employ their mothers.  
Thanks to a quick-impact grant from the United Nations, REBUILD has added TWENTY new women to our workforce! Many of these women are mothers to several of the street boys and apprentice children who frequent our site. Now that mom’s are employed, they will be able to ensure that their children have shelter, food and are kept in school.  This project is really about providing the families with the means to provide for themselves. We hope to see our numbers of employees increase, therefore increasing our reach to the community in Haiti- Like a rippling effect.
A very special part of our efforts is being able to encourage the spirit of each employee to have the ability to first take care of their family and then help support the community. One of our new artisans, Claudette, reminded us of the true nature of generosity. With her first paycheck from the workshop she went and bought onions and sausage, which can easily feed many, and citronella candles to ward off mosquitoes for an orphanage in the neighborhood. It was a truly inspiring act of kindness to see someone with so little, sacrifice for those who have nothing.  This is the foundation and sustainability of REBUILD globally.  
Our next challenge is to sell all of the beautiful, handmade sandals coming from our workshop! Support us by visiting our online store and purchasing your pair of REBUILDers today! As always, you can stay up to date on our efforts by following us on facebook and youtube!
Thank you,
The REBUILD team

Thank you for your continued interest and support for REBUILD. It is with the dedication of people like you that allows our organization to grow! As you know, it is very important to RG that we help improve the quality of life for all Haitians and orphans are among the neediest of the population. 

We're pleased to say that through our partnership with Carribean Lodge, we have facilitated bunk bed donations to the MEPOCEC orphanage, allowing the children to leave the floor for a clean and comfortable place to sleep.

Aside from basic needs, all children need a little creativity to brighten their days. Our art for orphanages project aims to give children a positive outlet for stress. The children are led by one of our partnering organisations, European Disaster Volunteer’s Haitian staff members who is also a trained artist. REBUILD hosted the art exposition in our store. The children's arts and crafts were up for sale, with all proceeds benefiting the orphanage. It was a great event, showcasing the SMDT orphanage's impact on these children's lives. There is still plenty to do for these kids, so stay tuned for more opportunities to help!

We encourage you to follow our facebook to stay up to date on all RG happenings and watch our videos on youtube




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Organization Information

REBUILD Globally

Location: Orlando, Florida - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Julie Colombino
Orlando, FL United States

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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