2.5 Years is Too Long!
What has Lavi Project been up to?
As we in the U.S. try to figure out how to live our "new norm", Haiti is just trying to figure out this newest affliction stacked on top of all the other catastrophes.
There's a very popular proverb, known by almost all Haitians, "Dèyè mòn gen mòn." It means "Mountains beyond mountains"; "Behind mountains, more mountains"; “Beyond mountains there are mountains.” The meaning is that after you overcome one significant obstacle, you merely gain a clear view of the next one. This is not just a proverb but the daily life of every Haitian and every organization that feels called to Haiti.
I’m typing this sitting at my desk in my home office. Yes, a home with heat, air conditioning, power, running water, and a refrigerator full of food. Even after 17 years of traveling to Haiti, I still shamefully take these things for granted, living in a country of unfathomable abundance compared to 90% of the world. My heart feels heavy for my friends in Haiti.
To add to the already tenuous and challenging process of doing humanitarian work in Haiti, the pandemic, political climate, presidential assassination, increased gang violence, and kidnappings have essentially grounded Lavi Project since March of 2020.
However, while unable to travel for the past 28 months, we have been working very hard to shore up some critical areas of our organization. To help highlight these new adventures, here is a bullet point list:
On top of those essential tasks, we have taken on what I believe to be the most important project of the last two years, which can potentially change Haiti’s social, political, and economic brokenness.
Lavi Project has recently acquired an existing child sponsorship program for a growing and fantastic organization and group of children. Unfortunately, the former organization decided to no longer support the program, and Lavi Project came face to face with a big decision.
Due to safety concerns for the orphanage and founders,
we are using aliases for both in this publication. The orphanage will be referred to as “Future of Haiti Orphanage,” and the directors will be referred to as
“Franc and Juliette.” Please contact mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Let me introduce you to Future of Haiti Orphanage.
Future of Haiti Orphanage is the vision of an extraordinary couple, Franc and Juliette.
Future of Haiti Orphanage is a beautiful sanctuary for almost 60 children. They come from horrific and inconceivable situations from human trafficking, loss of family in the 2010 earthquake, child slavery(called child restaveks in Haiti), and many other terrible reasons. Yet, despite their backgrounds and situations, Franc, Juliette, and the staff love them like there their own.
This mission is unique because Franc and Juliette do not have what we commonly think of as an “adoption type” orphanage. Instead, their framework and vision are structured to raise the next generation of God-fearing, compassionate, moral, educated, and driven young people to start leading their country out of the culture of corruption and bring dignity, integrity, and justice back to Haiti.
In Haiti, the most valuable commodity is education. Future of Haiti Orphanage operates with the model that all of their children graduate from high school. Many of them have gone on to university and trades, most sponsored by Future of Haiti Orphanage.
So, why did Lavi Project decide to take on this critical project?
I have personally known Franc and Juliette for over 17 years and have grown to love them and consider them some of my closest friends.
Since my first trip to Haiti in 2005, Franc has been an integral part of every trip. (close to 30 visits) He is a compassionate and wise man who knows how to read and interpret this potentially volatile country's subtle (and not so subtle) socio-political temperature. He also made it his job to network with people of integrity and prominence within the community.
He has been a true mentor for me as a non-Haitian, teaching me and showing me the Haitian people's deep richness, culture, and pride. He knows how and works tirelessly to keep every team he hosts safe and productive, helping us do the work that brings dignity and respect to the people while providing a deep cultural experience for every team member.
Bottom line, we need Franc and Juliette as part of Lavi Project. Could we continue without them, maybe? Here's how I look at it: Take whatever you do, your profession, your passions, your hobbies, your education, and envision that every resource you need to do that task is now unavailable. You must start completely over again from ground zero. Terrifying right? (I agree). We have the best resource I can imagine in Franc and Juliette…why let that dissolve?
Of course, let's not forget that I have had the privilege to watch these children grow from infants and toddlers to grown men and women, making a difference in their neighborhoods, communities, and families. I would lay down my life to protect them and this incredible gift.
So, as you can see Lavi Project has been hard at work these past few years of pandemic restrictions diving into deep and purposeful Board Development, bringing on consultants, searching for professionals with specific skillsets for our future growth, and investing in the future of Haiti through acquiring the child sponsorship program.
Here are a few questions: How has the pandemic affected how you view and engage with passion projects like Lavi Project? What would you like to see from the organizations you sponsor?
We would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment.
Lavi Project is excited and fully committed to this new responsibility and adventure, and we are so glad that you have decided to be a part of it with us.
Stay tuned for more from the Lavi Project and “Future of Haiti Orphanage.”
Di m' ki sa ou renmen, má di ou ki moun ou yè
Tell me what you love, and I’ll tell you who you are
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