The Haiti Orphanage Sponsorship Trust (HOST) helps support earthquake orphans at Foyer Evangelique Universel Orphanage in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti.
Foyer Evangelique Orphanage is currently home to 35 children, ranging in age from preschool to young adult. All are from impoverished families. Most came to the orphanage in the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake. Many lost one or both parents, other family members, and their homes in the earthquake. They have had to deal with the emotional and physical toll of this event, and have been affected by the consequences of severely damaged infrastructure, including school and medical facility closings. Foyer Evangelique Orphanage is supported in part by the Haiti Orphanage Sponsorship Trust (HOST).
Haiti Orphanage Sponsorship Trust (HOST) is a group of volunteers in Vermont who raise funds to support the children living at Foyer Evangelique Orphanage in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti. We became connected to the orphanage when Mariam Diallo traveled to Haiti in June of 2010 (less than six months after the earthquake) with the intention of volunteering at an orphanage for earthquake orphans. The orphanage that she intended to volunteer with was not what she expected, so she visited several orphanages in the area until she found one that she felt was well-run and where the children were well-cared for. Mariam had prior experience volunteering at an orphanage in her native country of Mali in West Africa, and she knew what she was looking for in Haiti. Mariam spent 6 weeks at Foyer Evangelique Orphanage that summer, and got to know everyone quite well during that time. When she returned, she brought back photos and stories, and a small group of us were inspired by her experience and wanted to provide ongoing support to these sweet children.
HOST's mission is to ensure the needs for food, education, medical attention and other essentials for Foyer Evangelique Universel Orphanage children are met. We also research and promote collaboration with organizations that can help address the residents’ unmet physical and/or developmental needs, and assist with longer term sustainability planning.
Foyer Evangelique Orphanage is run by Pastor Duckens Janvier and his wife Madame Delourdes Janvier, and they have they have the biggest hearts of anyone we know.
They are also volunteers, and they are some of the largest contributors to the orphanage. Duckens is a school principal and a church pastor, and Delourdes is a teacher. They are both natives of Haiti who were living a comfortable life before the earthquake. They started the orphanage about 2 weeks after the earthquake when God spoke to Duckens
in a vision and told him that it was his role to help care for the orphans from the earthquake. They took in 57 children in January 2010, and over time some children have been able to be reunited with extended family members. There are now 35 children remaining in their care.
The Janvier family have a small staff who help them care for the children, including a cook, a laundress, a "mama", and a handyman. All of the children attend school, and Pastor Duckens is committed to supporting the children until they graduate from high school. He also provides vocational training for the older children so that they have a better chance of finding employment after graduation. The children live with him and his wife and their own 3 children in a small dormitory building in the back yard of their home, which is situated on less than .5 acre. We provide funding to help meet some of the basic needs for food, clothing, and education of the children; however, the funds raised by HOST are not enough to meet all the needs, and Duckens and Delourdes contribute from their own salaries each month to meet the expenses of caring for the children that are not covered by our fundraising. HOST's overhead here in the US is very small. We buy postage stamps and some office supplies and occasional photocopies, and we pay a bookkeeper to help with the accounting a couple of hours each month. We are all volunteers, we do not have an office or any other admin costs.
We gathered together an advisory board and found a fiscal sponsor. We are committed to making sure that every penny we send to Haiti is spent for its intended purpose of improving the lives of the children. Different board members visit several times a year to monitor current needs and conditions at the orphanage.