Mariam Visits OFEU
Dear Friends of Foyer Evangelique Orphanage,
We are pleased to share with you some photos from Mariam’s trip to Haiti last summer! For those of you who don’t know Mariam, she is the founder of our organization. Here’s a little bit about her: Mariam Diallo is originally from Mali, West Africa. She moved to Vermont with her family when she was in high school. Mariam was in her early 20’s when the earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, and she felt called to go to Haiti and help children who were orphaned. She had previously worked with orphans in Mali and she knew she loved that work and hoped that she could be of service in Haiti. Friends and co-workers came together to send Mariam to Haiti for the summer, fundraising for her plane ticket and gathering donations for the children she would work with. Mariam traveled to Haiti in June 2010 and stayed for the summer. She visited several orphanages when she first arrived before finding a place that she felt was well run, where the children were well cared for, and where she wanted to donate her time. She chose Foyer Evangelique Orphanage, and that’s how our program began! Mariam traveled back and forth to Haiti several times during the first 2 years after the earthquake, but then health issues prevented her from traveling to Haiti for over 5 years. We were delighted that Mariam felt up to making the trip this summer, and it has been inspiring to hear her talk about the contrast from her earlier visits to how things are now. Here are a few of her highlights:
Reconnecting with Geraldine: Mariam was visiting the orphanage on the day that Geraldine arrived back in 2011. Geraldine’s mother had just died of cholera, and she was about 18 months old. Mariam bonded instantly with sweet Geraldine, and it was very difficult for them to say goodbye. Mariam called Geraldine on the phone and talked with her regularly after she returned home to help ease the transition. It warms our hearts to see these old friends together again!
Mariam brought along the lower photo of the kids from 2010 to show to the children. Yoleine (the girl who is giving Mariam a kiss in these photos), had the idea to stage a photo with the same kids in 2017. So precious!
Many of the improvements in the nutrition, health, and education of the children are thanks in part to the sponsorship program that we began in 2012, which enables us to send money each month to contribute towards basic needs. We are approximately 50% to our goal of full sponsorships for all the children. If you would like to join on as a sponsor, we would love to have you! Here is Mariam with the girls when they were reading sponsor letters together.
Our board member Iris Bonaldo has been collecting books and magazines in French for the children, and Mariam brought down a bunch of reading material with her. Here is Yoleine reading an activity book from Iris!
This is Lovely reading a book, with one of the twins (Wilfrid or Wilguens - they are hard to tell apart) looking over her shoulder!
This next series of photos features a game that the kids, especially Stacey, like to play. It is similar to Jacks, and you play it with 5 rocks, tossing and catching them in the air. It’s a simple game of quick reflexes.
Notice that rock in the air by Mariam’s head?
This is Lunyara practicing recorder with Pascaline watching through the doorway. The children love to play music!
Here is Yvenelson playing the recorder. He plays a lot! The kids take good care of the recorders. They keep them in their covers and store them in a safe place. These instruments are treasures.
The biggest highlight of Mariam’s visit was a trip to the beach. Here is a short video of the kids on the bus on the way to the beach - you can feel their excitement!
Here are some of the older girls hanging out in the water at the beach. Mariam found it interesting that everyone was wearing their socks at the beach!
Geraldine at the beach.
Mariam and Myrbel at the beach.
Mica at the beach.
Mikendy and Yvenlie at the beach. Mariam says they are best friends, and very sweet together.
Mikendy and Yvenlie in the water.
You can see how much the children loved their time with Mariam. She is very precious to them, and they are precious to her as well!
Thanks, everyone for your love and support for these sweet kids!
If you are receiving this email, it means that you have already donated money, time, emotional support, and/or other necessary items to the orphanage, and we are extremely grateful to all of you for your generosity. If you have any ideas, suggestions, questions, etc. of ways that we can be more effective in our efforts, please let us know. We love hearing from you.
To donate you can send tax-deductible checks made payable to "Trusteeship Institute - Haiti Orphanage" and mail them to:
36 Cedar Street
Brattleboro, VT 05301
Or donate online here:
We wish you all a very happy holiday season!
On behalf of the board of the Haiti Orphanage Sponsorship Trust and the children and staff of Foyer Evangelique Orphanage