Fania lives in a poor rural part of Haiti, in the Grand Anse River valley on the southern peninsula, where the average family lives on less than $1/day. Every day, Fania, who is an orphan, living with her blind sickly grandmother, wonders what she will do when her grandmother dies. At night, Fania lies on her back on the dirt floor of her one room house with woven walls, staring up at the night sky, and tries to imagine where she and her sister will go after their grandmother is gone. She knows they will be completely alone, with no one to care for them, no family, and no hope for the future. Fania has watched other kids she knows who were orphans like her just disappear, and she doesn’t understand.
What Fania doesn’t know is that poverty, starvation, disease, child slavery, and sex trafficking are robbing kids like her of their childhood. Because the government of her country is corrupt and broken, it can offer kids like Fania no protection and no rescue. There are no social services, no insurance, no state run medical programs, no food stamps, no food pantries, no welfare system, and no foster care programs. The truth is that Fania and her sister will be left completely alone once their grandmother dies, which unfortunately will be soon.
Although Fania may not understand why life is so hard in Haiti, she’s well acquainted with hunger pains. Two and a half million Haitians live in extreme poverty. Haiti is the poorest country in the northern hemisphere. And although Fania can’t put her finger on why she is so afraid, her heart is telling her that danger is all around her. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that over 650,000 children in Haiti are involved in some kind of child labor, and children in Haiti are engaged in the worst forms of child labor. Children in poor rural areas, particularly girls, are sent to more affluent families to work as restaveks or domestic servants. Many of these children become victims of exploitation, including physical, psychological, and sexual abuse. And some restaveks are as young as age 4 or 5.
One day Fania hears some commotion coming from down the lane. Men’s voices are calling to one another. They are digging a foundation and working hard in the hot Haitian sun. From her neighbors living around her grandmother’s house, Fania learns that an orphanage is being built for 24 orphans, 12 girls and 12 boys. She listens as people around her talk about how it will be called “The Village of Hope”, and how the kids who live there will be loved and cared for by mama’s. Fania’s heart sings, because she longs for the hugs of her own mother. And for the first time in a long time, Fania has hope that maybe she and her sister will be OK.
Because of what we’ve seen in the area surrounding our staff and teams house in the Grand Anse River valley in Haiti, we understand how many orphaned kids are at risk to fall victims of slavery, trafficking, homelessness, and starvation. And since New Life for Haiti has chosen to “take one place and make it better”, we’re committed to these kids, and we’re not going to leave them alone. Because of that, last year New Life for Haiti committed to building the Village of Hope and raised the funds at our annual Gala to construct the buildings. Now we’re looking for partners who will come alongside us and make this a reality for the 24 orphans who will live there. To do that we still need more food, trained “Mamas” to care for them, to finish the school building, and the construction of bathrooms with showers and toilets.
Specifically, we’ll be bringing in 4 “Mamas” to live with and care for the children, and they need to be trained. We need to provide all the household things they will need, and we need funds for their salaries. We have a partially completed building that will function as a one-room schoolhouse to give the kids a HIGH QUALITY education, but we’ll also need to provide additional training for the teachers and be able to fund their salaries. Caring for these kids well means having good, clean bathing and toilet facilities. We need to build bathrooms and install fixtures and plumbing.
And most of all, we need heroes – people who will partner with us and contribute to making a difference in the lives of 24 children. We need people who will keep dreams alive for children with no other possibility of thriving and survival in a place that offers no hope for orphans.
YOU can make a difference. You can show kids like Fania that they are seen and not forgotten. There is hope, and a whole Village of Hope waiting for Fania and her sister, right in their own community, to live a happy, restored life in a family atmosphere raised by loving Christian adults.
Please join New Life for Haiti in the fight to keep these children’s dreams alive by creating a permanent and loving home for 24 children in the Grand Anse River valley. Doing so will ensure that the orphanage can open with everything needed to give Fania and kids like her the best possible chance of a healthy, happy, normal childhood where they can dream of future that God has planned for them. We can’t do it without food to feed them. We can’t do it without ensuring them medical care. We can’t do it without providing a school and education for them. Without these things, their lives won’t be completely changed. And without YOU, their lives will remain without hope. We won’t rest until the Village of Hope orphanage is built and welcomes 24 orphans into its doors, giving many of them hope for the first time in their little lives. Be an advocate for orphans today and click on the link to donate. We promise you won’t regret being a hero in the life of one of these kids.