12.2010
Haiti Mission Trip

After the earthquake hit Haiti last January, we heard about a group of orphaned children living in Fondwa that needed our help. Through your generous gifts, and our partnership with the local apparel company Bring The Hope, we raised $8,000 to bring aid to the people of this mountain village that is located roughly one hour south and west of Port-au-Prince.

In late August, four KidsFirst Foundation board members paid their way to join a group of 15 people on a mission trip that included members of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Family Health Ministries and Bring The Hope. The group spent a week working in Fondwa and the donations were put to good use in several important ways.

Fondwa lost its schoolhouse in the earthquake. So, the mission team constructed a new temporary structure that is currently housing more than 200 schoolchildren. The kids at this school score very well on national tests and education is essential to their future. We are pleased to report that our structure withstood the recent hurricane that hit Haiti and that no one was injured in Fondwa during that storm.

In addition to constructing and painting the schoolhouse, our team also painted several other temporary shelters around the community. But the building and painting was just half of the mission. The team also spent a lot of time getting to know the orphaned kids in Fondwa. The group played games, shared stories, sang songs and took a very special field trip to the beach in Jacmel. For many of the kids, it was their first time to go swimming.

We are also pleased to report that the good news didn't end when the trip was over. In September, we held our fifth annual KidsFirst Foundation Dinner and participants at that event helped us raise more than $14,000 to continue helping our friends in Fondwa. Those funds will go to sponsor 15 schoolchildren, help build a permanent school in the year(s) ahead and bring a new structure called Paulette’s House to life.

Currently, more than one million children live in orphanages in the former Soviet Union. Only about 15,000 are adopted each year.
The KidsFirst Foundation has already made a difference in the lives of many children and families.