Shoes, Easter Eggs, and a Great Time

Our friends Luke & Jenny came to visit this month!

They came with shoes their daughter Ellie collected for her shoe drive. She decided that rather than presents.. she wanted shoes for the people in Haiti.

They were able to pass out over 250 pairs! And special thanks to Rachel Shoes for donating 50 pairs of new sandals (including some for our girls at the orphanage).

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We were also able to celebrate Easter, birthdays, and just spend some quality time together. We also stopped by the property to see the progress! So awesome to see the wall started and a well now going in. Please go and check out the site to learn more about our future plans!

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Visit from a Brazilian Team

The Brito family decided to travel together to Haiti from Brazil. We were so happy they wanted to stop by Wholehearted and put on some activities for the children.

The family dressed up in bright colors and organized games. They also led the children in some songs and dance. It was a blast!

Our favorite activity may have been the jump roping though. The children loved it.

Here are a few photos from their visit. Thanks again for spending time with us!

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Lumarc & Makenley Receive Awards

The older two boys at Wholehearted both participate in a program called Play It Forward.  The program uses sports to promote education, healthy lifestyle, and biblical principles.  

Lumarc and Makenley both played on this year’s basketball team.

All of the athletes from basketball, soccer, and dance came together for an end of the season banquet. It was quite an event with many performances, a Biblical message, and an awards presentation.

We are very proud of both Lumarc and Makenley for getting involved, meeting new friends, and using their athleticism to honor the Lord.

Enjoy these photos from the event.

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Easter Fun

The children had a fun egg hunt to celebrate Easter.

The eggs were filled with confetti. They had a blast cracking them open.

After we had the egg hunt, we decorated foam eggs with stickers.

We hope you had an awesome Easter holiday! He is risen!

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Visit to the Apparent Project

The boys from Wholehearted took a little field trip earlier this month.

We visited the Apparent Project in Port au Prince.

Not only do they have amazing artwork and products, but the idea behind the project is what excites us.

Here’s the story (copied it from their website)…

In Haiti, poverty and the legacy of slavery have caused a staggering culture of child abandonment and male neglect of family commitments. 70% of labor aged Haitians are unemployed, while those who are employed earn an average annual wage of $400. Mothers give up their children, and men leave their wives and lovers because of the stress of trying to provide from within a devastated economy. There is a strong cycle of fatherlessness and neglect that probably stems from the severance of slaves from their African families and from the commodification of children by slave traders. Whatever the forces are that have made fracture and dislocation the norm for Haitian families, it is poverty that maintains this status quo.

Unfortunately, orphanages have often only enabled this dissolution of Haitian families. Haiti was said to have as many as 500,000 orphans before the devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010. The vast majority of these “orphans” were actually not true orphans. They were children given up by living parents because of extreme poverty. A history of corruption and inefficiency in the Haitian governments adoption processes has caused orphanages to be overcrowded and short on funding, also creating emotional, physical, and developmental problems for institutionalized children. The instances of Reactive Attachment Disorder within Haitian orphans is astounding. Yet, while a single adoption costs $15,000-20,000, these funds could sustain up to 40 families by providing seed money for ongoing small businesses! Something needs to change.

Most orphanages are focused primarily on childcare, without addressing the roots of child abandonment. Unfortunately, many, many orphanages also take in way too many kids way too easily. While the Apparent Project advocates passionately for the adoption of true orphans we also believe that preventing child abanonment by economically empowering Haitian families is the best way to rescue children. This is why we have created opportunities for impoverished parents to earn an income through our artisan program. We train each parent in a specialized skill, such as jewelry making, bookbinding, sewing, or another craft, building relationships along the way. Through addressing educational needs, homelessness, joblessness, nutritional problems, medical needs, and building emotionally and spiritually enriching relationships, we are trying to bring dignity and wholeness to the whole person, strengthening each to be a support and encouragement to others.

This is why we are called the “Apparent Project”. We are trying to help mothers and fathers in poverty be A PARENT to their children. We are educating and taking care of street kids who don’t have A PARENT. We are using media and the arts to make the needs of Haiti APPARENT to those who can help, and we are doing this all with the hope that the love of God will be made more APPARENT to those we humbly serve and that He will be known as A PARENT to the parentless.”

How awesome is that?

The children were able to see first hand several employees hard at work and it was amazing to see that they make so many of their awesome items from recycled goods.

Here are some images from our time there. We encourage you to check out more about what the Apparent Project is doing to better Haiti at their website.

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Pottery Class

We were able to take the children to the Apparent Project for a pottery class thanks to your donations!

They had such a great time !

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A Fun Visit & New Picnic Tables

We were blessed to have Jolynn and Kelli Jo from Idaho and Mike, Ronda, Michael, John, and Judah from Washington visit us in March.
During their visit, the team helped out at the orphanage by giving the interior of the home a fresh coat of paint-it looks great! They also built 2 picnic tables (with the help of Marcelin, Makenley, Lumarc, Rikenlo, and Samuel). Now, the entire family can sit for meals together at one table.
One of the nights during their stay we had a Chinese cultural night. We made fried rice and egg drop soup, which was a big hit with the kids! They also learned to eat with chopsticks (which was quite a sight). They loved the fortune cookies and rice crackers as well. We made paper dragons, read a Chinese newspaper and ended the night by watching Mulan.
Another one of the nights, we had a Birthday party for David, Esther, and Younika. We enjoyed cake and soda and watched Veggie Tales. The night was complete with singing, dancing, and skit performances.
John, Michael, Judah, and Kelli Jo formed great relationships with the Wholehearted children. They played soccer, basketball, and UNO for hours each day and really bonded with one another.
Other highlights for the team visiting was a visit to the Apparent Project and the National Museum in Port Au Prince.  And at the end of the week, the group enjoyed spending a day at the beach.
Let us know if you would be interested in coming to visit us in Haiti.
Here are some photos from the trip! Thanks again to the precious families who came to love on us!
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