Education  Haiti Project #18806

2022 Vocational Training for Families

by Little Footprints, Big Steps - IDO
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2022 Vocational Training for Families
2022 Vocational Training for Families
2022 Vocational Training for Families
2022 Vocational Training for Families
2022 Vocational Training for Families
2022 Vocational Training for Families
2022 Vocational Training for Families
2022 Vocational Training for Families
2022 Vocational Training for Families
2022 Vocational Training for Families
2022 Vocational Training for Families
2022 Vocational Training for Families
2022 Vocational Training for Families
2022 Vocational Training for Families
2022 Vocational Training for Families
2022 Vocational Training for Families
2022 Vocational Training for Families
2022 Vocational Training for Families
2022 Vocational Training for Families
2022 Vocational Training for Families
2022 Vocational Training for Families

We would like to thank all of our supporters for the donations they provided in 2022. We have assisted many orphans and street children through the programs that you helped to fund.

Children in orphanages are being abused and exploited through sexual abuse, child trafficking, or forced labor. There is still modern-day slavery occurring in Haiti. Over 80% of the children in orphanages have living families who were deceived by unlawful orphanage operators; business owners who use the children "for-profit". 

Little Footprints, Big Steps works with local social services and protection authorities to remove these children from orphanages and the streets. After listening to these children’s families, we understand that poverty is a common challenge and the situation that families face. Through our sustainable programs below and only with your valuable support, we are able to offer urgent medical care and help separated children reunite with their families, plus provide skills training as well as resources for youth and parents to become self-sufficient. 

Help us provide safety and opportunity for these children. Your generous small or big donation will impact a life for a lifetime!

Please continue to support our efforts as our staff is still very committed through these difficult times in Hait.


The team at

Little Footprints, Big Steps 

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LFBS agent speaking with former street child
LFBS agent speaking with former street child

The current situation in Haiti continues to be extremely challenging due to severe inflation, the crippling cost of living, increased insecurity and political instability.... Yet despite these challenges, the Little Footprints team has been able to make positive progress thanks to your support!

The recent political and economic insecurity in Haiti posed a major challenge to youth hoping to return to school and vocational training programs on time.The nationwide lockdown in September 2022, the limited availability of fuel, high inflation rates, and widespread violence have forced families into precarious situations. As a result, the 2022 - 2023 school year ended up being postponed. While educational sessions and/ or schools were meant to open in October 2022, most were not able to until December 2022.

When schools were able to open, this was a huge relief for students and their families alike. Not only do educational opportunities provide students with hope and and an outlet for their ambition to pursue a better future, it also creates a sense of stability amidst the chaos and political stability happening in their country.

Our last update from October 2022, indicated that four youth had completed a year of vocational training programming. We are thrilled to announce that we have reunited five former street children/ youth with their families in the last few months! Our Child and Youth Mentor has worked with three pf these youth to prepare for their vocational training. One of the children had fled from a gang in Port-au-Prince and is now going to be enrolled in a sewing school, which is a lucrative business as Haitian students are required to wear handcrafted uniforms. The other two youth are beginning a mechanic apprenticeship in their communities to gain first-hand experience in the field. They will be mentored by an established mechanic in their area.

Our team has developed agreement documents to be signed both by the mechanic and the youth's parents/ families', to ensure that all parties are engaged and have shared objectives in supporting these youth in their growth.

Vocational training not only prevents youth from living on the streets and being subjected to violence, but provides them with the skills necessary to be self-sufficient. This is particularly important for former street children, who were often seeking to earn money either to care for themselves or in an attempt to provide for their families. Vocational training is an opportunity to provide them with the skills and tools to earn a living in a more dignified, healthy, and sustainable way. Considering the increased cost of living and economic hit many families took during the lockdown towards the end of 2022, this support is more timely than ever! Your contribution allows Little Footprints Big Steps to reunite children with their families, build their confidence, and make their passions a reality.

LFBS staff member and student at school
LFBS staff member and student at school
LFBS agent on the way to visit youth's family
LFBS agent on the way to visit youth's family
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In our year-end report, we wish to thank all of the supporters of programming and vocational training opportunities for youth. This has been a challenging year for youth, with the increased cost of living due to soaring inflation and gang violence in and surrounding the capital city of Port-au-Prince. At the same time, demand has never been higher for youth accessing vocational training.

With increasing economic challenges, there is more and more pressure on youth to be able to financially contribute to their families or to become self-sufficient. Vocational learning offers a relevant and timely appeal for youth: its connection to employment and earnings - and a learning environment that may be more inclusive and hands-on than a traditional, academic learning environment.

4 youth have completed a year of the vocational training programming. Youth have shared that having access to programming that focuses on building their skills has felt like a solution for them, during this trying period.

Numerous youth are now seeking access to the program, working with staff to do the initial first steps of launching their own career path. For example, during the orientation process, youth determine their goals and the right learning path for them to achieve their desired employment.

Staff have observed that youth with increased skills, connection to peers, identified goals and self-confidence may be more able to navigate challenges including peer pressure and community violence.

We thank our supporters for providing an empowering program for youth over this year of change and challenges within Haiti.

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As the Nation continues to recover from the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the south-western coast of Haiti, Little Footprints, Big Steps continues to support and empower the children and families affected. Many families lost their entire means of making a living. Many lost their savings and profits due to medical care and housing repair needs following the earthquake, which put families in an extra vulnerable state. 

LFBS continues to see an increase in the number of families needing support.  Due to the continually increasing value of the USD (and decreasing value of Haitian

currency) over several years, the cost of living in Haiti has been continually increasing as well. With gang activity blocking regular transportation between Southern Haiti and the capital of Port au Prince, and public transportation often having to pay gangs fees in order to safely pass, inflation has become an even worse problem in the Southern region of the country (where LFBS is based and primarily works). As you can imagine, this increase in the cost of living has left families that were already vulnerable in an even more challenging situation.

Recent activities

Business Start-Up

There continues to be a massive need for our business start-up program.  LFBS has been working on revising how we facilitate this program,  with the focus now being on peer support groups within communities. By taking this approach, we hope to create an even more sustainable impact that is maintained within the communities of the families we serve. We are receiving many demands for and referrals to this program, and find that providing parents or youth with small business start up is one of the most effective ways to help change their situation.

Not only does this provide a means of income generation to families, but it also provides hope. It supports parents in working towards a better future for themselves and their children, making them less likely to feel helpless and focus on the many stresses of life. Empowering parents to care for their children also helps re-establish the family dynamic of those families that have been reunited, as the children see their parents as their providers, and the parents feel capable of taking responsibility for their children. By integrating families into our income generating opportunity programs - even if they need some extra support in the beginning - we are ensuring we do not create a dependency and instead help build a stronger, more self-sufficient family. These families then contribute to the local economy, in turn creating a more resilient community!

In addition to small business start up, our income generating opportunities programs also include agricultural support.  LFBS has previously received several hundred fruit tree seedlings from our partner organization “Trees that Feed”.  We hired an agronomy student to first care for these seedlings until they were large enough to be planted - and then to bring these tree seedlings to families and support them in planting them in their land, while advising them on how to promote growth.  By helping families to plant we can provide - in addition to a source of income generation - a source of food security. If they don’t have the means to buy food, they can use harvests from their gardens to help feed their families. Ideally, families will be able to consume a portion of what their land produces and sell a portion.

Supporting agriculture in rural communities also supports decentralization in Haiti, which is greatly needed.

Despite the fact that Haiti has such rich fertile land, food continues to be imported from other countries.  As a result there is extreme inflation.  When the value of the US dollar fluctuates or the cost of fuel increases, then there is a spike in food costs. To add on to this Port Au Prince was recently cut off from the South and the rest of the country due to violence and unrest.  This has caused a shortage in supplies. If we can promote local production and local farming we can provide more stability in food prices.  By helping families produce their own food and to sell locally in their community that will help protect them against the problem of centralization. 

Supporting Social & Academic Reintegration of Street Children

In June of 2022 LFBS, accompanied by Haitian Child Protection authorities and other partners, held our Annual Street Child Meeting. The goal of this meeting, which we hold every year in recognition of Haiti’s National Day of the Child, is to document the street children in Southern Haiti, to give them an opportunity to reflect and be heard, and to inspire them to reunite with their families/ envision a different future for themselves. This year, a main focus of our dialogue with the children was to prevent them from being recruited into gangs. The children and our team alike were deeply moved when they listened to former street kids who gave motivational speeches during the event.

LFBS plans to follow up with these children and their families in the coming months.  There were 19 street youth who attended, and 7 of them currently want to return to their families and go to school. This will be a top priority for us as we focus on reuniting these children with their families, and assisting in their reintegration into the school system and their communities. 

Families in need of support

Malnutrition in mothers and infants has become increasingly prevalent in recent months, and we have found many cases being referred to us by Haitian authorities and partner organizations in which families are in need of urgent support. For instance, LFBS is providing outreach to the following two families with emergency support, medical care and food…however we are also looking for more sustainable ways to help them in the long term.

Suzanne* recently gave birth to triplets.  Due to the rising inflation and lack of access to food, she was so malnourished that she couldn’t nurse them.  Suzanne lives in a rural area along the coast with no access to formula, or medical care.  The mother was currently bed ridden and the children were at risk of death because their mother is not healthy enough to nurse them.  LFBS was able to transfer this entire family to a hospital several hours away where they were able to get the care needed, as well as proper nutrition for the infants. This required that our team work very long hours and we had to rent an additional vehicle to do so - but thanks to their dedication this family received life-saving care and have already been released from the hospital. LFBS is following Suzanne and her babies and providing support where possible.  A long term support system will be required for Suzanne and her babies to have the nutrition and medical care that they need ongoing.

A second family who also had triplets recently lost two babies due to malnutrition. LFBS is supporting this mom and the baby who has survived.  This mother has already been through so much grief and loss.  With the support of LFBS and her local community we hope to empower this mom to raise her baby in a healthy, loving way.

*All names have been changed for confidentiality purposes.

Theory of Change Workshops

Our team on the ground in Haiti has started a very thorough process of undergoing Theory of Change workshops. Every single member of our team on the ground is participating in these workshops, making sure everyone has a deep understanding of all of our programs and why we do what we do. Through these workshops, we’re also taking the opportunity to evaluate each of our programs and identify areas of improvement. The level of participation from our team has surpassed our expectations, and we are thrilled to have their input driving a bottom-up approach to our work. After these workshops are complete, we will be taking action to make our programs - including the income generating opportunities program - even more effective! We can’t wait to have an even greater impact in the future thanks to your support.

Thank you!

Thank you for being a part of our incredible community of supporters and donors. While the situation in Haiti remains complex, because of you, we are making real, impactful, and lasting changes in the lives of children, families, and communities. You are a partner in this work and we couldn’t do it without you. Thank you for your interest, support, and caring, and for being a catalyst for change.

Thank you for your shared commitment to our vision that every child in Haiti grows up in a safe, loving, and self-sustaining family.

Upcoming ways to support LFBS 

Volunteer With Us!

Volunteers are an integral part of LFBS’ success! We are very lucky to have a network of committed and enthusiastic supporters. Their work is key in enabling LFBS to reach our mission and goals. Volunteering with LFBS will enable you to expand your knowledge of child protection, human rights, and community development in Haiti.

We currently seeking individuals with knowledge, skills and experience in at least one of the following areas:

• Financial Expertise

• Construction/ Building/ Real Estate

• Legal/ Policy/ Compliance

• Fundraising/ Partnership Development

• Strategic Planning & Risk Management

• Human Resources and Corporate Experience

• Haitian Business/ Bureaucracy/ Governance

*Social Work/ Human Rights/ International Development 

Theory of Change Workshop
Theory of Change Workshop


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Two weeks after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the south-western coast of Haiti, it was reported around 650,000 people needed emergency humanitarian assistance in the three most affected departments – Grand’Anse, Nippes and Sud. 

Aftershocks continue to shake the Great South region, where at least 600 aftershocks have been recorded since August 14th. On January 11th, another earthquake was experienced in Southern Haiti forcing people to run from their homes at 1am; many spent the night outside or in tents fearing to return inside homes or buildings. This occurred 1 day before the anniversary of the devastating 2010 earthquake.

In Les Cayes, where LFBS is located, some streets are blocked at times by people who are afraid to return to their homes. There is continued insecurity in and around Port-au-Prince resulting in the capital being off limits for the LFBS team.

Recent activities

Emergency Relief & Recovery Program

In addition to our regular programming, we provide emergency relief when it is necessary. Our emergency programming after disasters includes emergency kit distribution, supporting local child protection authorities in their response to protect children and prevent trafficking and separation, psychosocial support for separated children, and mobilizing and distributing supplies to address the needs of the most deeply affected survivors. We prioritize emergency care to children, however we also work holistically with entire communities. Additionally, we provide long term recovery support through housing repairs and reconstruction, business reinforcement, and mental health support. LFBS was involved extensively in the emergency coordination after Hurricane Matthew in 2016, and we continue our emergency relief and recovery efforts in response to the August 14th, 2021earthquake. 

Housing Assistance 

Providing permanent, safe housing empowers families to build a self-sufficient future. When a child or family is referred to us by local authorities, we assess their overall state of vulnerability and work collaboratively to create a plan that empowers them with the resources and opportunities to strengthen the family unit. In cases where that plan includes housing, we work together with the family to determine the repairs or construction necessary. We assist in sourcing local materials and labor in an effort to support the Haitian economy, create employment opportunities, and ensure that our program benefits ripple outward toward the entire community. 

Success Stories

Arnold was supported by LFBS to attend University.  Arnold recently graduated from Agronomy, and is beyond grateful for this opportunity.  We are incredibly proud and can’t wait to see what Arnold can accomplish with such a bright future ahead.  

Eluxin is one of LFBS’ staff.  He works as a child and youth mentor, however often goes above and beyond his responsibilities.  Eluxin has been developing orientation tools that will help Haiti's youth in choosing what skill or trade they want to pursue.  This provides them with reassuring guidance and helps them plan out how to achieve these goals.

Gawencha, another young man who spent several years in an abusive orphanage before being reunited with his family - now works with LFBS! Gawencha is a night guard at our transitional safehouse and has exceeded our expectations.

We are also proud to support 7 youth from vulnerable backgrounds who have been having weekly professional guidance & English classes through LFBS.  Through these sessions we are working on preparing them for future job opportunities. 

Through our post-earthquake construction projects, we've also been able to hire parents of children that LFBS works with and provide them with some temporary employment!  

All names have been changed for confidentiality reasons

LFBS in the Media

For all our Yukon supporters, you can watch the documentary Not About Me is part of this year’s Available Light Film Festival (ALFF)* streaming online February 11-28th.

Please consider voting for the documentary for the ALFF Audience Award!

Educator Study Guide on International Development & Social Justice Issues

As part of the Impact Campaign accompanying the film Not About Me, the film producers and Morgan Wienberg have developed a companion study guide for educators focused on international development and social justice issues. This campaign aims to start conversations that create awareness about the issues and encourage people to redirect their generosity towards more sustainable, locally-led programs that address the root causes of family separation instead of institutionalizing children in orphanages.

Coming up on February 22nd, the film producers and Morgan will host a special screening and brief online conversation for educators (teachers/ professors) about the study guide. You can find more information, and share with educators in your networks here.

Thank you!

Thank you for being a part of our incredible community of supporters and donors. While the situation in Haiti remains complex, because of you, we are making real, impactful, and lasting changes in the lives of children, families, and communities. You are a partner in this work and we couldn’t do it without you. Thank you for your interest, support, and caring, and for being a catalyst for change.

Thank you for your shared commitment to our vision that every child in Haiti grows up in a safe, loving, and self-sustaining family.

Upcoming ways to support LFBS

Canada Called to End Support for Orphanage Volunteering

If you haven't already, we urge all Canadian supporters to sign the Parliamentary Petition requesting that the Canadian Government issue a travel advisory and information campaign to raise awareness on the damaging impacts of supporting and volunteering in orphanages (and promote alternatives). This is a first step in requesting accountability for Canada’s commitments under the Convention of the Rights of the Child to address child exploitation in orphanages. Canadians of all ages can sign the petition here.

Thank you for supporting our mission to keep families together by addressing the root causes of separation and poverty.


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Organization Information

Little Footprints, Big Steps - IDO

Location: Cambridge, Ontario - Canada
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @lfbshaiti
Project Leader:
Morgan Wienberg
Cambridge , Ontario Canada

Funded Project!

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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