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July 2017 Newsletter

We are overjoyed to announce that as of February this year Welcome Home Children Centre has had a dedicated Solar Energy System in Haiti.  We made a trip in March to Haiti and witnessed the transformation this has brought to WHCC.  This has been a game changer in the life of our children and the operation of the home.  The children now have the opportunity to be able to study at night with proper lighting and the ability to socialize and play more safely when the sun goes away and night falls.  They are also able to watch some videos on the television set we had shipped last year.  We have also been able, for the first time, to plug in the fridge that was also shipped in the container.  The fridge was an instant hit with the kids all of whom have really never seen a refrigerator in action before.  They were bringing bowls of water to be placed in the freezer area to make ice – exciting!

Additionally, having a fridge at the home now gives the staff the liberty to buy perishable foods in bulk, thereby saving money due to volume discounts and less frequent trips to the market.  We plan to buy a freezer in the future to be able to purchase and store more bulk frozen meats and vegetable from Port au Prince, at deeper discounts.  It’s a large family we have out there and they are thriving.

Our last trip to Haiti consisted of a group of 6 people: Marie Charter, Andrea Renwick and Calvin Renwick who stayed for a week and Francine Lannister, Camille Otum and Sam Otum who stayed for two weeks. The purpose of the trip apart from spending time with our children, was 4 folds, namely, unload the container that was sent last year and sort its content, to set up a playground, install a closed circuit camera system and to update our “temporary” kitchen - complete with plumbing and electrical installations.  When we got there, however, it became quickly evident that the scope of work planned had increased. For one thing, there was no power to the pump to move water from the well up to the water tank tower.  The contractor had missed the conduit and power line from the panel to the pump (150 ft.) altogether. So we had to dig a 150 ft. long trench, install conduit, pull cable for the power connection to the well pump.

We were able to receive two more children, Islander and Fredson, into our home.  These siblings came to us very malnourished and anxious to join the rest of the kids as soon as they all met.  Fredson was 18 months old but could not stand on his own let alone walk and his sister was 8 years of age but had never been to school nor did she know her alphabets and numbers and therefore could not read, write or count. 

We are happy to announce that the little toddler can now walk and his sister is being home thought while a formal school for her is being sought.

 

 

What We Were Able To Achieve  In Two Weeks:
•    Andrea and Calvin purchased a washing machine in Port au Prince and donated it to WHCC. There was no time to do the plumbing for and hook up the washing machine. This job will happen next trip.
•    Marie purchased storage totes which were used to store sorted items in storage room.
•    Unloaded the sea container and sort most of the inventory.

•    Installed the 4 camera surveillance system.
•    Brought water to the kitchen.
•    Installed a commercial double sink unit we had shipped last year.
•    Brought power to the kitchen and the adjoining storage room and installed light fixtures and receptacles.
•    Built some shelves in the storage room.
•    Installed blinds in the gathering area on the 2nd floor.
•    Started work on the playground but was unable to complete the job as planned because we simply ran out of time. We were able to, however, clear an area approximately 60ft. x 30ft of rocks and rubbles and placed 6 dump truck loads of beach sand.

For fun, apart from craft and games, we were able to take the kids to Obama beach one day and had a great time of swimming and beach balling.  We also celebrated Andrea’s birthday with the kids and played a lot of games.



So we continue to grow as an organization with the continual help and support of great people like you all.  Thanks to all of you and may the Lord continue to bless you according to His riches in Glory. 

Please continue to pray for Haiti and her people.  We will continue to do as much as we can with your prayers, donations and goodwill to play our part to raise children with a bright future and great promise.

Hurricane Matthew Misses the Centre

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While hurricane Matthew has brought devastation and destruction in certain areas of Haiti, we are happy to report that your prayers and ours were been answered―our home and children were spared! As a matter of fact, the whole area around Marotte was not touched at all.  Marotte is in the central-Eastern part of Haiti, while the truly devastated areas are in the island's Western extremities.

Many thanks to all of you who cared and who prayed for us. Great to have you all in our camp!

How much more can a small, impoverished country like Haiti take?  Please continue to pray for Haiti and help her as much and in any way you can.

US Navy photo

Spring 2016 Newsletter

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First day in our new home!

On April 20, 2016, Welcome Home Children's Centre welcomed our children into their new home in Marotte, Haiti. The move did not go as smoothly as planned as we faced obstacles at every turn.


The Container
Image2The container which which was packed with new beds and beddings as well as other supplies for the new home arrived in Haiti on April 11th as scheduled, however, it was held at customs until May 13, over a month later. A lot of hard work went into putting the container together and we thank everyone that helped to make it happen. From those who donated food items, clothing, beds, beddings, toys, playground set, home furnishings, solar panels and a car as well as those who helped pack and load the container. Special thanks to the donor of the container itself who shuttled it around free of charge until it was shipped and to another supporter who arranged to have the container donated to WHCC and organized the shipment.


The Building
Things can sometimes move a little slower than expected in Haiti. Although we confirmed the construction schedule and progress report with our consultants before booking our flights, the project was considerably behind when we arrived. This was disappointing to say the least and added another setback to our trip. Due to these unforeseen circumstances, Camille ended up staying in Haiti an additional month to see things through and get the children settled in their new home as well as to acquaint herself with their school principal and teachers.

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The Phone Call
The third unfortunate issue that befell the trip was a disturbing phone call from Canada to inform us that the husband of one of the team members had suffered a heart failure and was found unconscious by paramedics. We all, including some of our children and their caregivers, started praying for the family. We are very happy and thankful to God that not only was he revived; he was released after a few days of treatment and given a good prognosis.


Political Unrest and Infrastructure
Other issues that plagued this trip include virtually daily demonstrations and road closures, a felled bridge across the major highway between our site and Port­-Au-­Prince which caused unbearable road conditions and traffic gridlocks like we had never experienced before.


The Good News
It's not all gloom and doom, however. We finally got our children moved out of the rental property and into their new home, which has been one of the main goals of our organization. Also, we have since heard many stories of containers being delayed in Haiti for many months and even years. So while it did take us a month to clear our container, we are grateful because it could have been a much longer delay. As the scripture says, "In all things give thanks" and so we thank the Lord for all that we went through because even in adversities, there are lessons to be learned and His love remains.

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The Journey Continues
Phase 1 of our long term 3 phase plan is virtually in the book. We celebrated this milestone during our open­house barbeque on July 23, 2016.


Thank You
Thanks again to all you wonderful people who through your generosity and kind hearts continue to touch the lives of these children across the sea. They may never get to meet you but they know that God loves them so much that He has caused you to open your hearts to help them out. So let me deliver their message to you: "THANK YOU CANADA and USA" Please continue to pray for WHCC and our children. We really appreciate all of your help and we are thankful that you are a part of our team!  God bless you all!

 

New Centre - 2015 Update!

 

What does the Future of WHCC Look Like? 

 

Haiti has always been a nation with challenges. It is the commitment and energy of Haitians, with sustainable support from without that will really show the world what magic can be found here. Camille Otum came back to her native Haiti together with the WHCC team with the hopes of making life better for a few children. Little did they realize the scope of that dream, or the vastness of the need. It didn’t take long for the WHCC team to realize that they would quickly outgrow their capacity.

In February of this year, WHCC spent 10 days in Haiti with a group of engineers and an architect from Engineering Ministries International (Emi). These people do amazing work, assisting Christian organizations around the world, both big and small, with building and construction designs as well as site use development and designs.

WHCC had applied for their assistance in the design of our new site to maximize the spatial and structural functionality of the property. So after 10 days of hard work, well organized and meticulously planned out processes, EMI came up with a totally new design and concept for the site and the buildings to go on the property.

We have never seen anything like this before. The first thing they did was visit the site to establish the perimeter and coordinates of the property. The next day the survey team was dispatched to completely survey every square meter of the property and came up with the geodetic landscape of the property on a CAD drawing-complete with contour lines.

Meanwhile, they interviewed us to find out what our immediate and future vision for the site really is, then they interviewed the house mothers to hear from them what challenges they face in our current rental house. Then our vision was sequentially prioritized during an hour long chat. Armed with the information from these discussions, the architect created a series of coloured blocks on paper to depict all the structures we want on the property. Each block was further divided into smaller blocks during another session of consultation to fine tune whatever that block represented.

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Shortly after a complete site layout was produced - showing all the structures; current & future that would eventually stand on the property.

Additionally the location of the playground, the well, and the general landscape were incorporated into the picture and voila a campus has been born!

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At the same time the architect was doing her thing, the civil engineering team was busy at work assessing the soil quality at the site for stability and drainage qualities. The ground water depth and quality was also estimated by drawing water from a nearby well and measuring its depth, bacteria count and dissolved compounds. The results allowed them to give us a reasonable idea of what to expect when we drill our own well.

The electrical engineering team was given a carte blanch to study the Obama Beach Hotel power grid and systems to help them design something similar for us. Reliable power supply is a big challenge for the ordinary citizens of Haiti except for big companies, organizations and well to do individuals. Obama Beach Hotel is a relatively small enterprise but has found a way to power itself with little disruption and completely off the public power grid. So with the information gathered, a combination of solar and generator based power supply system was designed for us.

At the end, the whole building project was divided into 3 phases.
The first phase involves the construction of a 2 storey 5 bed room house for future use as guest house.  A guardhouse as well as an electrical grid, the well, septic system and some modification to site drainage are also planned for this phase. The reason for building a guest house first is because it is relatively simple and cheaper structure to build quickly than either of the boys’ or girls’ dormitory, and it will provide an immediate much bigger space for our children than their current residence.

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The 2nd phase will involve the construction of 2 dormitories (one for the boys & the other for the girls). There will also be a rotunda - a common multipurpose place for, dinning, social events and chapel. A formal kitchen will also be constructed as part of this phase. The 3rd and final phase will be the construction of a school building and a small sports field.

A detailed Landscape, Structural, Architectural as well as an Electrical set of drawings was eventually produced and delivered to us at the end of April. Accompanying it was a complete report of the work and findings of their work on the site.

 

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We were again in Haiti from May 17 to May 24 and we are so excited to announce that we have signed two contracts during this trip with two separate Christian NGO’s in Haiti. The first is with Blue Ridge international, a Mennonite Mission 0perating in the North part of Haiti, to drill a well complete with both a hand pump and an electric pump. The other is with MSAADA, an Architectural and Engineering Ministry headquartered in Minneapolis Minnesota - specifically hired to oversee and manage the construction of the first phase of the project. Construction is expected to start in the 2nd week of June 2015.

Thank you all so much for this milestone in our journey toward the creation of a premiere home for every child of Haiti the Lord will bring our way. During this last visit, we turned away 6 potential intakes into our home because of lack of Space.  We are doing a good work in this area of Haiti through your help and the grace of God. This is borne out by the rise in the demand for our services and the kind words we get from people of various walks of life. We have even been told by a doctor from "Alpha & Omega", a clinic-a low cost Baptist clinic operating in Cabaret, that he is impressed with the degree of care he sees in our children compared to those of other kids from a nearby orphanage and the kids of Cabaret in general. He commends us for our good works & encourages us to continue. We really want to share this accolade with you all because we planted this seed and you have continued to water and fertilize it with your donations and prayers.

May the Lord continue to bless you all and smile over you in appreciation of your good works.

We want to formally acknowledge EMI for the fantastic work they are doing for His kingdom around the globe. Thanks to you Kevin and your team. May God continue to expand your territory.

We also want to give a shout out to Gus, the owner and operator of Obama Beach Hotel, who himself is BA Christian for showing us warm Christian Hospitality  – giving us a special rate, feeding us well and for giving us invaluable advice and leads. May God continue to bless you and prosper your business.

Andre Ripp, the MSAADA representative in Haiti believes that the building will be ready for occupancy by September. In light of this, we plan to ship a 40 ft. container to Haiti filled up with a whole bunch of supplies and furnishing by August. We need bunk beds, Mattresses – Special donations ($200.00 / set) toward this will be greatly appreciated. We want purchase them rather than have individual donations for uniformity. Double beds and good used mattresses will be accepted as well as plates and dishes.