AUGUST 9TH, 2023
Good News! Our children safely evacuated Port au Prince this past month!
I am happy to share the wonderful news 33 children and 6 adults safely made it out of the city, and are now beginning to build a new home in Sainte Suzanne. Five of the little ones who are not able to swim have stayed behind with 4 adults, to come to the land once there are measures in place to protect them from the nearby stream. They are currently safe and enjoying so much more room and attention now with the older kids gone.
The Move: We rented a mini-bus, and after weeks of sorting through the essentials, kids, musical instruments, and household items were loaded. Although the children were excited for the new adventure, it was also a time of anxiety, as for many of the kids, the Amurtel home is the first and only place they have known safety and love. Much planning went into the actual drive out of the city as the situation with gangs, kidnappings, and vehicles being hijacked and burned has reached alarming levels. Our little caravan joined a convey with protection on a Wednesday afternoon, and all breathed a sigh of relief when the last road block was cleared and the bus could move ahead with ease.
Just a few days after the evacuation, the US State Department put a call for all non-essential US workers and citizens to leave Haiti, as the situation in the city continues to deteriorate. Our little family got out just in time.
A New Home: When the children arrived at the new land, they were at first unsure- it is very rural, with no amenities. But then they jumped in, coming to love the quiet, the abundant nature everywhere and the kindness of the local people. After just a few days there, 26 of the children went off to an international music camp, where from all reports, they are thriving and excited to be studying with other young musicians and top instructors.
To date: Through your support, we have been able to dig 2 wells- one for the home and one for the community. Solar panels are installed so there is now wifi and a signal for phones. A temporary kitchen has been set up, and temporary shelters have been built. The villagers have been gracious and welcoming, bringing large baskets of fresh mangos, bananas, papayas and vegetables, (a big change from the diet in Port au Prince where it was almost impossible to find fresh fruit and veggies).
Next steps: Plans are being drawn for the new children’s home, along with proper septic and bathrooms, with construction to begin as funds allow. The children will be enrolled in school for this September.
Thank you all for your generous support in helping to provide a safe, loving environment for these amazing children. A new chapter has opened, where the kids can play outside, where food is abundant, where gunfire is no longer a daily back drop, and where they are no longer haunted by the fear of being killed. Please feel free to share this with those who might also be interested in helping.
With heartfelt thanks
- Land purchase $ 37,000 Complete!
- Construction of new home $ 182,000
- Solar panels, well $ 16,000 Complete!
- Septic & connect plumbing $ 16,000
- Moving to Ste. Suzanne $ 3,000. Complete!
Total needed $
How to Donate: All donations are tax deductible. Here are a few ways you can send funds (please put Haiti Children’s home on your donation)
July 1, 2023
We must relocate our children at Amurtel’s center in Port au Prince Haiti.
Why Leave? We have closely monitored the increasing violence in and around Port au Prince over the past year. Bullets were recently found in our playground, and with gunfire becoming a normal part of each day, along with the mounting death toll in neighboring communities, it is too dangerous for the children to stay any longer.
Where to Go: After much research and discussion, it was decided to relocate to an area in the northeast part of the country. With lush forests, rivers and cool temperatures, Sainte Suzanne is sometimes called ‘the garden city’. Near to Cap Haitien with its international airport, university and other resources, the children will be able to continue their education and look forward to other opportunities.
Originally from this area, Gladys, our school principal, reached out to relatives who were excited to show off their beautiful community. Gladys and Didi, our country director and the defacto ‘mom’ to our 40 children, were warmly received. After an intense week of meetings, looking at property, and researching services available in the area, Didi put a downpayment on a lovely tract of land with a little house, lots of fruit trees and room for gardens and playing. With some work and construction, this will become our new children’s home and sanctuary.
Next Steps: Temporary accommodations have been arranged in the area for the children and support staff. Didi has already met with the director of a neighboring music school, and 23 of the children are enrolled in music camp for the end of July!
All the children are anxious to leave Port au Prince and the stress of living in constant fear. Everyone is talking excitedly about moving to a place they can safely play outside.
The New Home: Once things have settled, construction will begin on the new home. Architects are already drawing up plans, and workmen are being engaged.
Now to Get There! The next big challenge is safely moving 40 children, 11 adults, 3 cats and 1 dog. With gangs patrolling most of the roads leading out of the city, we are conferring with other organizations on the safest way to relocate everyone.
Amurtel in Port au Prince: Amurtel will maintain its commitment to the local community at our Bourdon center in Port au Prince, where most families live in extreme poverty and face daily food insecurity. Our local staff will continue running the school serving 350+ children, along with the feeding program that provides the school children a hot meal each day, the health and empowerment program for the teenage girls, the micro credit groups for women, and the medical clinic, literacy programs, etc.
Can you help? We need your support in evacuating the children to safety. Funds are needed to complete the purchase of the land and begin construction of the new home. There will also be costs to safely move the children out of Port au Prince. Here is a basic budget for this big step:
Land purchase $ 37,000
Construction of new home $182,000
Solar panels, well and septic $ 32,000
Moving to Ste. Suzanne $ 3,000.
Total needed $254,000.
How to Donate: All donations are tax deductible. Here are a few ways you can send funds (please put Haiti Children’s home New on your donation):
Checks: Made out to Amurtel, and mailed to PO Box 232, Warren, VT 05674
Northfield Savings Bank
Address: Route 100, Mad River Green Shopping Ctr. Waitsfield, VT 05673
Account Name: Amurtel
Account #: 6080070821
Bank Routing: 211672683
Moving Forward: Please pass this on to others you think might help, and feel free to adapt any parts to use in your social media.
Please reach out if you have any questions or suggestions as we move forward. If we all come together, I am confident these children will soon be playing and growing in a safe place.
With many thanks,