Vision

...hope for their future through loving care, food, clean water, shelter, clothing, and physical / spiritual / vocational training.

Come and Visit!!

Interested in visiting the Children's Village?  A process is required and we'd love to help you!  Click here to email our Okipe liaison on the island and learn more.

Video News
Okipe Introduction Video CLICK ON WHITE TRIANGLE TO PLAY VIDEO

 


Okipe Greeting Cards - for sale!

Hot off the press! Hand made greeting cards crafted by the beautiful kids living at the Children's Village. Packages come in sets of 10. Order yours today! More information...


Thursday
Apr102014

A healthy smile begins with a child

Last week, Trinity Presbyterian Church from Atlanta, Georgia visited the island. Their main focus was not on the children at the village, but they asked if they could come one afternoon to give fluoride treatments to all of the children. Of course, we agreed!

One of the things that the children have not had is regular dental care. We do have a dental team coming from Scotland in August to do comprehensive care on all of the children! 

Here are a few pictures of the Atlanta team applying the fluoride!

Doesn't Francesca have the BEST smile?!

Even the little ones did a great job! We heard that the texture is a bit weird and the taste isn't that great, but everyone did just fine :)

This little one was a little scared, but once she was able to sit on mama's lap, she was just fine :)

A lot of the children were a bit skeptical about what was being done. It looked like they were painting their teeth. These boys are "anxiously" awaiting their turn. I promise...it's not going to hurt!!

Mr. Bee, our faithful interpreter made sure to explain to all of the children exactly what was going to happen and what to expect. This helped eliminate some of the fear. So thankful for him and the love he has for these kids!

We had five stations set up to give 80 treatments. It took about two hours.

Mr. Bee explaining to Richeleu, one of our youngest.

The team did a great job with the kids and we're so thankful for them taking the time to offer this service!

...and one of the "perks" of being the Okipe liaison...our kids get free dental and medical checks :)

Thanks again! Looking forward to seeing your team again in the future!

Wednesday
Apr022014

Once upon a time...

I'd like to tell you the story of a little girl Soliette who had a dream. Her dream started a long time ago. She knew in her heart that when she grew up, she wanted to help the children of Haiti; particularly La Gonave. Soliette never really knew what that would look like, or eventually turn into, but she said "yes" to her dream and did whatever she could to make it happen.

Fast forward a "few" years...

3 years ago, in April 2011 a few people sat down with Mme. Soliette to listen to her dream. At that time, she had over 60 children living in a two story house in the city of Anse a Galets. There was no running water, electricity or beds for every child. The children were surviving on one meal a day. There was no place for them to run. The adult - child ratio was about 1:20. She knew that this was not ideal for these children, but had no idea how to make her true dream for them a reality. 

So, she sat around a table with a few wonderful people and shared her heart. She explained a village type living arrangement. She wanted the children to be able to live in a house with a house parent. Maybe only 10 or so kids to one house mom. She wanted a place where they could run and play. She wanted them to be able to eat their meals together. What she described was not an institution, an orphanage; she described a community - a village.

So, after that conversation, an architect drew up some plans and the scouting for property began. The property was found and purchased and then we were ready to go!!


Here is a picture of the property just after it was purchased. For those of you who have visited, this is standing on the road at the east end of the property (closest to the sea) right at the wall for the block plant that is next to the village.

They didn't waste any time. Scraping away the brush began right away!

WATER! This was a very important first step! The Children's Village has a well that supplies all the water for washing and flushing toilets.  It is too brackish (higher salt content) to purify for drinking water.

Here, Mme. Soliette is breaking ground for the new village!! How EXCITING!! This is the start of seeing her dream coming true!

Extollo International was hired to be the contractors for this project. One of the AMAZING things that they did was train local Haitians to build the village. They gave them something PRICELESS. After these men and women finished the job here, they now have the knowledge and skill level to complete many other jobs! I'm thankful that very minimal "outside" help was used to build the village.

Graduation day for the brick layers!! They were so proud of their hard work and certificates :) As they should be!!

As the wall was being built, Mme. Soliette brought some of the boys out to see the land that would hold their new home. They couldn't help but RUN with ALL THAT SPACE!! What a dream! Little did they really know what was coming :)

7 weeks, 10,000 blocks, and $30,000 later, the exterior wall is complete!!

The first two pods are going up!

Progress being made every day...

I just love watching the Haitians work sometimes. Their teamwork and strategy is impressive! (Not to mention STRENGTH!)

Another water source comes from rainwater catchment on each of the buildings. This water all goes into a 35,000 gallon cistern and is then pumped to a water house where it is then run through a purification process for drinking.

Coming right along...

Here, the guys are starting the multi-purpose building. This is where the kitchen, some bathrooms, the pantry, laundry area, batteries and inverter and dining area are located.

First pod to get some color! Mme. Soliette was happy with her choice :)

Getting closer...

The interior of all of the boys pods were painted in shades of green.

And the girls' pods were orange and red.

Each pod has it's own bathroom with two sinks, a toilet and a SHOWER!

One of the last steps was to install the solar panels for electricity.

And then to hook up all the batteries and inverters...

Getting all the beds in place and made up, along with a little something special for each child!

April 1, 2013...the night before the children move in. The last bit of peace and quiet these grounds will see :)

One year ago TODAY, April 2, 2013...MOVE IN DAY!!!

Here, the boys are entering and seeing the village completed for the very first time!

Mme. Soliette is so proud as she walks each of the children to their new home!

At the inauguration, some of the children sang a special song.

Here, Mme. Soliette is thanking some key people in this project. 

From L to R: Mr. B, our right hand guy and interpreter, Bill and Donna Cody: chairperson of Okipe, Dan and Joy Irvine: Global Partners Directors, Sherman and Mrs. Balch: Founder and CEO of Extollo International

I love this picture. The girls are so happy with their new home that they can't even stay still long enough for a photo :)

Thank you ALL for a job well done. But remember, this is just the beginning of the story. If we were done here, these children would never survive. The day to day operations of this beautiful new village are not possible without help from you. We have given so that these children can have a place of shelter, but without continued support, these children will not have food, medical care or education. Would you consider being a part of the continued story of these future leaders of La Gonave? Invest in their lives today so that they can be a part of changing the story of Haiti tomorrow. 

Click the link below to sign up to Join the Village and give these children hope for their future!

http://okipe.org/monthlygiving/

(A special thanks to Matt Smith for the photos in this blog!!)

Wednesday
Mar262014

March Madness...

I thought I'd give you a little glimpse into the everyday happenings of the orphanage. With 80 children, there is always something happening :)

This house of boys is always ready for some interaction whenever anyone comes to visit!! And who can resist with smiles like that?!

Boys will be boys! Love these creative little Ninjas!

Balloon fun with one of the visiting teams :)

Getting in some practice! A lot of the kids know and love soccer and basketball, but this team brought some toys to teach volleyball and baseball!

We are so thankful for our assistant and translator, Mr. Bee. He does such a great job with the children! There are a lot of women who look after and love the kids, but I'm thankful for Mr. Bee's male influence in their lives! He is a GREAT man!!

One of the new house moms had twins in November. She is the house mom of all of the oldest girls. The girls are a huge help with the babies.

We have a lot of children (boys expecially) who are always quick to help!! Here, the boys are helping to carry tables to the pavilion for one of the teams for their craft time. Nothing like a little teamwork to get the job done!

 


Singing and dancing with the team from Canada! "Waves of mercy, waves of grace, everywhere I look I see your face!"

This little guy, Johny, is the newest addition to the village. I'm sure it's overwhelming to go from 6 siblings to 79! I thought it was cute that I found him back here for a little time of solitude ;)

Hanging out in the laundry room with his cool new glasses :)