‘House of Hope’ has been a shelter, a shoulder, and a home for 11 girls who needed more than just clothes and food in Haiti. It has given them a family, education, and hope for a better future. These young girls have had to face many challenges, such as abandonment and lack of love. Our girls came from another orphanage, which is located at Caradeux. However, we took them in because they needed more than just a roof over their heads; our girls are young and deserve to be educated and ready to serve the Haitian society as much as any other youth within their generation.
‘House of Hope’ was founded in 2017 and since then has grown to meet its mission, which is to educate and structure the lives of 11 young girls and those yet to come. That makes us more than an orphanage, we are the core developers of these girls lives. The girls have several educational activities and field trips that are offered to them by the ‘House of Hope’. We are not a traditional boarding school as the girls attend a nearby school. However, aside from the school’s curriculum, the girls have the opportunity to participate in STEM activities through the ‘STEM 4 Girls’ project. Last year, they participated in the FLL Jr program Mission Moon. Their curriculum is composed of the original concept of classical education and improved by the incorporation of STEM. They also take robotic and programming classes. These methods consist of shaping their lives and allowing them to accumulate several modern technological skills that they will later use for the benefit of others and themselves. Therefore, our mission at ‘House of Hope’ is to help these young girls grow in many aspects of their lives, such as spiritually, mentally and physically while they will always feel at home.
Re-educating these girls is among our main priorities and also the most challenging part of the work. They come from a very tough environment and they have adopted certain manners and personalities that require drastic measures and a steady ongoing reinforcement. As the first mother, which is how they named me, I have made it my personal goal and challenge to discipline our girls, ‘tough love.’ Most of the girls came to us with a very low grading in their fundamental learning; it was an average of 4 over 10 or below. Some of them even had bad behaviors, such as stealing and lying. It is important to understand that these kids are not to blame for their actions or the results they obtain in school. They are young girls who had part of their childhood in very difficult conditions and areas of Haiti. They had to face various types of abuse, especially physical abuse, and some were forced to behave much older and mature than other kids in their age range. Helping these girls become better versions of themselves is with no doubt an intensive daily task. For that reason, the ‘House of Hope’ must be able to permanently regroup them under one roof.
We have already implemented our rules and structure within the girls’ daily activities, we currently need the stability to reinforce the values we have taught them. The stability consists of finding a house that we can make a home for our girls. Throughout the years, we have migrated from house to house; each of them had a different neighborhood and challenge to overcome. This kind of situation sometimes creates a mental reset for some of the girls and us as leaders and chaperon of the project. ‘House of Hope’ has been dealing with this crisis for over a year now. Last summer, we had to move the girls to three residences until we could find the funding to rent another. This time around we have a period of 6 months to raise the funds necessary to purchase the house we moved to this year. Otherwise, we will have to move once again. As per any bad circumstance that we fail in raising asking price our girls and staff will be evicted from the house and we will be back where we started. Therefore, the goal of this fundraiser is to raise $200,000.00. Our objective is to raise the funds to buy the house where we are today to continuously grow and improve ourselves and the girls, without having to worry about starting back at square one. Our girls will grow and they will acquire the knowledge that we have passed down to them. As a result, they will leave when the time has come, prosper and serve the Haitian society on their own as grown successful and educated women. But, their home will be a home for others, educating others and preparing them as well and keeping the legacy alive.