I was very happy to back on La Gonave Island this March. Jean Rony Toussaint of ASHOG (www.helplagonave.org) finally got the 3 children who had been living in terrible circumstance at the Poor House in Anse-a-Galets into a new home – ASHOG Orphanage. LGCCA is send a monthly stipend to provide their food, water and transportation to school. The home they are in now marks the beginning of ASHOG Orphanage in Anse-a-Galets.
Berkendy (4), Berry (7) and Roseberline (12) with Ailsa Young (LGCCA)
Melene and Claude have opened their home and their hearts to take the children in and will be able to home up to 10 children. Eventually there will be a new orphanage built for them just outside of Anse-a-Galets but for now they are safe and secure in this home. There is no electricity supply at the home and the only lighting is from 2 solar lamps. Water has to be taken from one of the town pumps and as the dry season progresses they have to go further and further for water.
For the first 3 months there will only be these 3 children in the orphanage to allow time for any teething problems to be worked out and to ensure there is adequate funding available for their care from LGCCA. Once we get sufficient donations we will gradually move more children into the home. There are several little children on the short list who urgently need a safe place to live.
These are the 3 children your support is helping to home right now.
Berkendy (age 4) has living relatives but they are unable to provide for him.
Berry (age 7) is an abandoned child, his family story is not known.
Roseberline (age 12) has living relatives who cannot provide for her. She is Berkendys aunt.
Dieune (ASHOG member and my interpretor) with the children
They are all going to school and Jean Rony reports that they are doing very well in their new home. He says that ‘their faces are changed and they are so happy now’. Melene and Claude are taking wonderful care of them.
Unfortunately life on La Gonave is more expensive than on mainland Haiti. Food costs significantly more there. With the cost of clean drinking water and the washing water needing to be delivered to the home during drought season, plus the cost of transporting the children to school (on motorbike) we need to provide $100CAD per child per month. (5% ($5) of each childs stipend of $100 is being kept aside for emergency medical costs – there is no free health care on the island). In the future when the new orphanage and school are built these costs should be significantly less per child. More children = bulk buying of food = money saved. We hope that ASHOG will be able to grow crops on the land once a water supply has been established.
Jean Rony Toussaint (ASHOG) with a little girl who is on the short list to move into ASHOG Orphanage. She is an orphan and lives with her frail grandmother in a shack, her grandmother cannot provide for the child (or for herself) and asked Jean Rony if the little one could move into the orphanage. It was very difficult to say no but we do not have enough donations at this time…
Jean Rony (ASHOG), Meline and Claude (foster parents)setting up the childrens beds
Berry liking his new bed
Melene and Claude do not receive any payment for fostering the children from LGCCA. The mayors of Anse-a-Galets have promised to provide a small monthly payment for Melene as she is the main childcare provider. Claude works in construction but there is no work for Melene on the island and she would have to go to Port-au-Prince to find work.
Melene, Claude, Berry, Berkendy and Roseberline
We will post monthly updates on the children on the website.
Please consider becoming a MONTHLY DONOR so we can keep providing for these children and get other needy children into this safe haven.
You can donate through Canadahelps, just follow the instructions on our Donate page.
Many thanks to Pastor Alcero who came to bless the house on the night the children moved in. Also a big thank you to Pastor and his wife for being my hosts while I was on the island again this year – mesi ampil!