News From the Orphanage, March 2013

Micheline Calixte

Dear Friends:

Since the holidays, many of you have donated to help us begin construction of the new orphanage, raised money to buy a cow for milk, and, helped purchase some food until supplies from Food for the Poor arrived.

Construction of New Orphanage Building February, 2013

Laying Pipes

In 2013, we hope to raise enough money to complete the construction that has begun.  You can see by the photos of the current living conditions, and the beginnings of a brand new beautiful building, it is very possible to accomplish our goal.   Thanks to you, this has all been made possible.

You can make a tax deductible donation by clicking on the link above “Alliance for Global Justice”, or make a donation using our paypal button.

Current Orphanage

Many thanks are extended to the United Church of Lincoln in Vermont, for raising the funds to purchase a cow to provide the children with milk every day, as well as John Brower with family and friends.  Milk by the gallon is too expensive to purchase retail for 27 children.  The cow will be cared for by a local farmer, who will receive the first born calf in return for the upkeep.

Miphaella Nues & Friends

We have also made some new friends in Maryland, Cheryl Futran and Laurie Roshfeld, who are members of  the “Social Action Committee” with a Synagogue there.  Laurie had reached out to our organization in October 2012, just by finding our website.  She was interested in working with an orphanage in Haiti, and had always sent hand made clothing to those in need.  Thanks to Cheryl and Laurie, we now have an entire barrel ready for shipment to the children of beautiful clothing, and most importantly, people who care about the work we are doing.

Laurie & Cheryl at Mitzvah Day
Making a “Fence” As The One at The Orphanage

How exciting it is to know we have come this far with help through small and large donations, whether in-kind or monetary.  We can provide these children, and others who will attend the new school once finished, with a better way of life.  So much money was raised for the Haitian people, yet none of it has reached those who absolutely need it to survive.  This is where we come in.  This is OUR project!  This is our way of giving back, and paying it forward.  Every donation counts, every penny and more heads directly to fund whatever these children need.

Let us work together to finish this building.  That is what “Sustainable Orphanages for Haitian Youth” is.  It is all of us, no matter where we live, working together to create a better world and a better life for children who will take our inspiration and make something out of it.  Please donate today!  Please share this information with those on your mailing lists.

Thank You,

Elaine Brower, President

Sustainable Orphanages For Haitian Youth, a not-for-profit

Posted in Newsletter | Comments Off on News From the Orphanage, March 2013

News From the Orphanage, Fall 2012

Dear Friends:
Here we are, the Fall of 2012, and AWESOME stuff has happened over the last few months, and it is extremely exciting.

Visit to the Beach

First Day of School Fall 2012

Starting in February, construction on the barrier wall around the new land began, and amazing progress has been made. By September, the wall was nearly complete and a beautiful gate was erected for full security. It was very exciting to watch as bricks were made with cement, and iron rods were inserted for stability. As you can see from the photos below, and in our flickr photo stream, once the barrier wall was erected to a certain height, we were able to plant trees and vegetables.

Property with new barrier wall

New coconut tree

Thanks go out to the “Blue Ridge” for digging a well on the new land, allowing there to be fresh water now, and will be there once we complete construction on the entire new school and dormitory structures! The children and Father Bourdeau were so excited and we are thankful for the work done and the time spent to build the well for them. See photo below and more on our Flickr site. With the visit of Dr. Patricia Back, the children had a wonderful outing to the beach. They had a great time, and enjoyed getting out for the day.  See a list of the names, ages and interests of the children here.

Blue Ridge Well Drilling

Thanks to donations from Dr. Patricia Back, Dr. Benson Babu, Mrs. Babu, James Clark, United Church of Lincoln in Vermont, James Brower, Tanya Thurman and so many others who care about the children, we have made enormous strides in reaching our goals. School textbooks were purchased, some clothing, chickens for fresh eggs, 2 baby goats which will breed more in the future, and  fresh water for the current school location.

The food situation is about the same. We are still relying on Food For the Poor for some relief every two months. Finding another food source has been extremely difficult, and almost impossible now in Haiti. Many of the food suppliers are either out of food or have left the country. Most people now using retail markets to purchase food.

We are thankful for the supplies given to the children by Food for the Poor, but it does not last until their next shipment. So many times, money received through donations goes to purchasing food so the children can have at least 2 meals a day, which consist of rice and beans, some spaghetti and tomato sauce, and if we can, occasionally purchase fruits and vegetables.

We still have to raise enough money to build the school, but it is within our grasp! On the website are architectural plans, and a budget showing exactly how much it will cost to move forward with this plan. If we can raise $60,000, this would meet our goals and the possibility of completing the structure so the children can move to a clean, hospitable and comfortable environment.

Right now it is so important to donate to this cause either  through our fiscal sponsor, which is fully tax deductible, or through our paypal account, which is not tax deductible. As you can see from the progress made, every penny raised goes directly to this project. There are no administrative expenses, or overhead involved. You are the most important factor in making a better life for these kids. As you donate you will see your money going right to work, and that is very satisfying and puts you in direct touch with help and caring for those in need.
2013 is the year we intend to finish the school and dormitory construction!  Can you help?  Spread the word to friends and family.  Open your hearts to this group of children who need it most.


Elaine Brower, President

Sustainable Orphanages For Haitian Youth, a not-for-profit


Posted in Newsletter, Thank you | Comments Off on News From the Orphanage, Fall 2012

Summer News From the Orphanage, and an Appeal

Dear Friends:

Our recent online campaign to raise funds was helpful since we raised $3,000.00 toward our goal of $35,000. The funds were spent for more work on the fence located on the new property. Thanks to all of those who donated, and have taken an interest in the lives of the children at this orphanage. Sadly, though, in order to complete the construction of a new building, we need more money.

As you can see from the photo below, the fence construction is making progress.

Working on the new fence

Life is the same for the children who live at L’Orphelinat Notre-Dame du Perpetuel Secours. Recently, the orphanage received a donation of a water tank, which needed some repair. Now at least the children don’t have to walk a mile to get buckets of water from the community water pump. Water delivery is $65.00 USD monthly, and it is used for cooking, washing and drinking. With donations, we can keep water coming!

Children at Orphanage

The children are hoping to move to the new place as soon as it can be completed. The conditions they live in now are unimaginable and unsanitary. Can you help us raise enough money to finish this fence and build a clean, sustainable living environment? It is possible with your help, and as you can see, all of the funds go directly to creating a better life for these children, and not on overhead or administrative costs. You can watch your money at work in this charitable endeavor.

Please watch our online campaign fundraising video which explains exactly where your money will go once donated.

Whatever you can contribute will help go a long way. You can make a tax deductible donation at the link located on this website, or donate via paypal, which is not tax deductible.

Help make a difference in a child’s life by donating today. We need your help and we need you to spread the word.


Elaine Brower

Posted in Newsletter | Comments Off on Summer News From the Orphanage, and an Appeal

Holiday Greetings from the Orphanage!

Children of Orphelinat Notre Dame du Perpetuel Secours in November

Dear Friends:

Once again the season is upon us where we reflect on our good fortunes, our families, and the world around us. This time of year means many things to many different people. It’s when those of us who can, reach into our pockets, or purses, and let those we care about know how we feel. We do this through writing cards, sending messages of love, spending time with friends and family, and opening our hearts to those who have much less than we do.

Holiday Greetings

The 45 children at our orphanage in Haiti have had a year that represented hope and feeling that love from all around them. Thanks to Julia Andrews and her fundraising efforts, they received new beds, something wonderful to many of them who had been sleeping on the cement floors most of their lives; they had visits from many caring, loving people: nurses, doctors, and individuals who passed along goodwill. New land was purchased, thanks to the very generous donations from Dr. Patricia Back and James Brower. This land has been cleared enough for the children to play soccer, soon to plant a garden, and hopefully will be the location for their new dwellings.

Children Clearing Land

There were some setbacks, a child almost died from a simple ear infection. But with help from our good friends Dr. Patricia Back, Patrice Wassman and Dr. Margaret Degand dutour in Haiti, he received excellent and fast medical treatment. Although the scars remain in his ear, where he is now deaf, he is back at the orphanage fully recovered. Expenses for this hospital care will top $3,000 USD. Hard to believe that in a place like Haiti care is not free, but there are so many people who are sick and not enough care to go around.

Jonalson Besson Age 13

Barrels were shipped filled with rice and other supplies from supporters who took the time to buy a 50 lb. bag at Cosco to send so that the children could have food. Many thanks to Sybil Johnson for helping with this cause, who continues to support the work done in Haiti, and to all of you who donated funds in a time of crisis.

Barrel with Rice & Other Items

We hope that the new year will bring even more good things to these children. Currently, with the land awaiting, we are trying to raise money to build a structure that will be clean, energy efficient, and sustainable so that they can actually have a place to call home. Fledgling partnerships with other organizations are in the works to help with this construction. There are containers that can be retrofitted which cost $25,000 USD to make habitable. A wall must be constructed around the 5 centiemes of land to keep it secure which may cost upwards of $10,000 USD. Building and construction work, as well as materials, are all provided through the hiring of local Haitian labor.

A "retrofitted" Container

That’s where you come in. We need your help to do all of this: keep food on the table; provide care, teachers, and the vision of moving to a new orphanage one day. This is the time of year when many organizations are asking for your donations. Please consider making one to us. Whether large or small, every single dollar will go to pay for the hospital bill incurred to keep Jonalson alive; getting enough food on the table so that the children are not malnurished, and reaching our goal of making this orphanage a sustainable place to call home.

You can make your tax deductible donation to our fiscal sponsor at ALLIANCE FOR GLOBAL JUSTICE
or via our paypal button located on this website.

With your help, we have traveled a long way, and have further to go. But it is more than possible! Please donate and spread the word about our work.


Elaine Brower
President, Sustainable Orphanages for Haitian Youth

You can reach Father Jonel Bourdeau on facebook.

Posted in Happy Holidays, Newsletter, Thank you | Comments Off on Holiday Greetings from the Orphanage!

Great News from the Orphanage!

Elaine Brower with Children


Things are moving along quite swiftly with the project to help the children of L’Orphelinat Notre Dame du Perpetuel Secours! A visit was made in late September to help Father Jonel Bourdeau purchase land in Croix des Bouquets, not too far from where they are now. Since they are living on leased property, and 40 children are confined to one building, with no space to play in a yard, or grow their own garden, moving to property that is owned by the orphanage entity has become important and the next step in our project development.

Thanks to a donation from Dr. Patricia Back, this was made possible. After searching for land that could be legally traced back to the proper owner, which is very difficult in Haiti, a deal was made just this past weekend! Under the name of the orphanage, they now own 5 centiemes (little less than 1/4 acre) where they will start clearing brush and planting a garden to grown their own vegetables. The older children will help with the clean up and would like to open up a large enough piece so they can play soccer!

Surveying New Land Prior to Purchase

First Day of School October 4, 2011

On the September trip we were able to deliver the shoes that people were kind enough to donate, especially those involved with the Unitarian Church of Staten Island, And colleagues from the NYC Office of the Comptroller, specifically Sybil Johson who not only went out of her way to help collect food donations which were shipped by barrel, but much needed footwear!

You can watch the video of the children here:

and trying on shoes here:

Once again, without all the help and interest of all of you and by extension your family and friends, we can possibly achieve the goal of providing housing, a farm and school for these children, and some in the community. There is nothing that cannot be done while we are standing united.


Elaine Brower
President, Sustainable Orphanages for Haitian Youth

P.S. View more photos taken by Dr. Back

Posted in land purchase, new partners, Newsletter | Comments Off on Great News from the Orphanage!

September News From the Orphanage!

Dear Friends and Sustainers:

This past summer was a difficult one for the children, as well as for the people of Haiti. Since the end of spring, food has become scarce due to many problems facing the country. Because of the demand, the price of a 50 lb. bag of rice doubled. Last month, Food for the Poor was only able to donate ten 20 lb. bags of rice for 45 children to last over 2 months. Three meals a day consist of rice and beans, and possibly a fruit or vegetable if they can purchase any.

After reaching out to those who have helped before, we were able to ship a full barrel which contained over 350 lbs. of rice, to the orphanage. The barrel left Staten Island on September 3rd and should arrive by the beginning of October. This should hold them until their next visit to Food for the Poor! Thanks to all of you who donated. Since the beginning of September, another major event happened. We received a $7,000.00 donation from Dr. Patricia Back, who has been visiting the children since the Spring of this year, and with that money we will purchase new land!

Property in Haiti

The property in Haiti is not cheap, as you might think. Right now developers are attempting to purchase prime property to either build hotels, or create other types of businesses. With the $7,000.00 we will be able to purchase approximately 6.5 santyem of land, or a little less than 1/4 acre. This will be more than enough to farm and eventually, as we had always hoped for, to build a new structure. In the meantime, I will be heading to Haiti to help with the purchase. We have an attorney and land surveyor who will meet with Father Bourdeau and I on September 28th, the arrival date in Port-au-Prince. This is very exciting news, and needless to say, the children are so happy. It will give them an opportunity, at least in the beginning, to learn how to farm and provide themselves with some of their own food. And if the crops flourish, possibly sell to the local community. As you can see from the photo sent to me, it still needs to be cleared. That will be our next project.

Thank you, Dr. Back, for your generousity! Words are not sufficient in a case like this!

Dr. Back with Children

The children would also like to send a big thank you to James & Dorothy Clarke of Staten Island, NY, who are both members of Peace Action of Staten Island. They have become monthly sustainers and will be helping to pay one of the employees who helps at the orphanage. There are currently three people who depend upon $100.00 a month to survive and feed their own families. The cook, nurse, washer person and the guardian who makes sure the children are safe inside the compound. The next milestone is finding support for teachers. We need two teachers who will be paid $100.00 a month each. Currently there are no funds available for the Fall school session, so Father Bourdeau, who is the director of the orphanage, will have to attempt to teach all grade levels, for children ages 3 to 18. He tries to instruct them in English, Math, and some History. Having qualified teachers and textbooks is something that if you can help with, would be greatly appreciated.

So on my way to Haiti, I will be carrying 2 duffle bags of shoes and clothing, all donated once again by you and our friends at the Unitarian Church of Staten Island! Right now, the 45 children who are living there either have no shoes, or their shoes are worn to the sole. So this trip will certainly be very important. I hope to have photos and video to share upon returning.

Thanks again. And please, if you can, spread the word. As stated before every single penny donated goes directly to these children. And with the prospect of building a new place, we may be able to help a lot more in the future. Without all of you this would absolutely not be possible.

All donations made through our fiscal sponsor, Alliance for Global Justice (link on this website), are tax deductible. Or if you care to use our Paypal account, please do so, however, those contributions will not be tax deductible. Tell your friends, family and others you may be speaking to about Haiti that you know a small organization that is directly helping every single day those in need.

Sincerely and with much hope,

Elaine Brower
President, Sustainable Orphanages for Haitian Youth

Posted in Donors, Food, land purchase, Newsletter | Comments Off on September News From the Orphanage!

Thank You to All Our Generous Donors

The Children Thank You

Dear Friends and Supporters:

Last month we had a food crisis at the orphanage facility. They had run out of food that had been provided by Food For the Poor, and there were no other organizations that could spare any rice and beans for the children.

After sending out a message to all of those who know about our work in Croix des Bouquets, many of you responded by sending in donations that have now helped provide rice, beans, spaghetti and oil for cooking. It is very hard for those of us who have food in abundance understand how Haiti keeps entering into crisis after crisis since so much money was donated after the earthquake that ravaged most of the country. However, now there is a food shortage and not for profit organitions who provide food to various sections of the country are short because of higher port tariffs and less shipments.

The children send you many thanks! And you can see that by the photo that Father Bourdeau has sent. They would have not had any food at all if it weren’t for you. They all know that, and we can’t thank you enough. Our small not for profit will do everything possible to keep these children as comfortable as we can under the circumstances. And with your help, we have done that for over a year now. When SOFHY first visited this small, very poor group of children and their caretaker, they had almost nothing. Now they have beds, clothing, toys, books, teachers, a nurse, someone to help feed them and care for them, and most of all food. Meals were once a day and now they eat 3 times a day! They have health care, and medicine.

On August 23rd, Food For the Poor will hopefully give them enough to last until they return for more. In the meantime, we are searching for an alternate food source.

Please remember that you are responsible for this, and none of these children or workers will ever forget it!

Elaine Brower, President
Sustainable Orphanages for Haitian Youth

Posted in Food, Thank you | Comments Off on Thank You to All Our Generous Donors

Summer News from the Orphanage

Food Provided by Donations & Food For the Poor

There have been many political changes in Haiti, but the living conditions remain the same, or grow worse. The new government has imposed all kinds of new taxes on an already overburdened population. Many NGO’s are having a difficult time operating on the ground, and more money is going to pay for government excise tax. However, over one million people still occupy the many “tent” cities that grew after the earthquake last year, and have now become permanent residences of sorts.

We have been very lucky. Our orphanage in Croix des Bouquets has survived, and thrived, thanks to all of our supporters. The children, and workers, have been healthy and all have avoided the most recent outbreak of cholera due to flooding conditions during the months of May and June. This turned out to be the worst rainy season yet, and many more in Port au Prince, and other areas, contracted and died from cholera. Our orphanage suffered a toilet overflow, and the water filtration system became contaminated; however, the school and housing on the property kept the children dry. Their newly installed beds also remained dry and provided respite from many rainy days! Although there are some parts of the main structure that are in need of repair, Haitian ingenuity (tarps) keep the sun and rain from entering.


Back of Main Building Needs further repair

Life in Haiti is very difficult, and there doesn’t seem to be any relief for those who suffer. We are a lifeline for these children, and the few workers who depend on whatever little money is donated to help them survive. The guardian, nurse, cook, teachers and the woman who helps with the children, all earn a small monthly wage from our supporters, donors and through fundraising efforts. They count on this salary to feed their own families and survive in Haiti. We are doing good work. Let’s not stop.

Marie Frances

Guardian or "Gatekeeper" Relimene D'Aout

The next step for this organization is to raise enough money to purchase property and build a new structure to house the children and workers. There is not enough room to do much more where they reside now, nor do we want to invest any more money into rented space. Providing a modest home, on land that can be used for farming, represents an achievable goal, with your help.

But right now our funds are getting low, and we may not be able to continue providing salaries or food essentials, such as vegetables and fruit. You can help in several ways: By pledging to sustain one of the employees at $100.00 a month; By making an online contribution now via our donate buttons on the website (tax deductible donations made via “Alliance for Global Justice,” or via paypal, which is not tax deductible. Or you can send a check directly to “Sustainable Orphanages for Haitian Youth”, 7 Sandalwood Drive, Staten Island, NY 10308.

Salary Schedule for July

Every dollar you donate goes directly to helping this orphanage. There is no administrative overhead, or fees of any kind. The money is transferred directly to pay salaries and buy food, soap, and gas for the stove. So please consider donating generously, and please share this with your friends who might be willing to help.

Posted in Newsletter | Comments Off on Summer News from the Orphanage

News from the Orphanage May, 2011

Natacha & Micheline age 3

Dear Friends:
The beds have been delivered, set up with new sheets and mosquito netting. There are 32 children and 16 beds. They are sharing by sleeping together, and are extremely excited to be able to rest at night, not being eaten by mosquitos and not sleeping on a hard cement floor. Jonel Bourdeau has told us that the children are so happy that their friends in America are helping them!

Badly Needed Mosquito Nets

Pillows arrive

The two barrels arrived, packed with so many items that they needed. New clothes, donated by Long Island and Staten Island friends; pharmaceutical supplies like bacitracin ointment, bandaids, gauze, hydrogen peroxide; all the things we take for granted by shopping at our corner Walgreens or CVS. The pillows made by the residents of Clove Lakes Senior Care Center are being used by the children, some of whom have never had a bed or a pillow to sleep on. New sandals for most of the children and 20 soccer balls with an air pump so when one is deflated, another can be inflated!

Children with New Soccer Balls

Jonel Bourdeau inflating soccer balls

They are in much better shape than ever before. Regular food deliveries and extras purchased with the donations made to our organization, have helped to make life easier for them all.

Dr. Back and Children

Our new friend, Dr. Patricia Back, visits every month and she checks up on the health and well being of all of those at the orphanage. She reports back that besides minor problems, including a scare that one child who we thought had cholera but had a stomach virus, are all healthy. Dr. Back visits other orphanages in Croix-des-Bouquets, and has now included ours in her visits. She reports on her facebook page that this month while spending time there, Father Bourdeau had a drum set and they had fun playing and singing all day. Her visits are limited, but she really enjoys and is very fond of the children. Dr. Back mentioned that there is terrain for sale that we can move these children to, but money has to be raised in order to accomplish this.

Playing drums

Dr. Back & Children

That’s why this month, we are making a big push to ask for donations. With several thousand dollars, we could finally find an appropriate place to accomodate a better living environment for all the children at the orphanage. So, please, donate generously so that we can make this happen!

We have come a long way with your help, and hope that you are still interested in the goal we set a year ago when the earthquake struck Haiti. Haiti is forgotten, but it’s people are still suffering. Even with the current elections, the money has not reach those who live in the worst conditions in this hemisphere.

Posted in barrels arrive, mosquitos, Newsletter, pillows | Comments Off on News from the Orphanage May, 2011

News From the Orphanage: April, 2011

Dear Friends:

It has been some time since communicating with all of you, but that doesn’t mean progress wasn’t made!

The first, and best news, is that the children now have beds! Thanks to Julia Andrews of Vermont who spent 6 months fundraising, bunk beds were purchased in the Dominican Republic and brought to the children just a few weeks ago. You can see the photos attached. We would especially like to extend a huge thanks to a major donor in Vermont, Sleeping Well, LLC., owned by Trina Webster, a small company with a big heart! Purchasing and delivering these beds was a major project and required coordination on the ground in Haiti and, in spite of obstacles, our mission was accomplished. Right now, there is not enough space for all the bunk beds, so the children are sharing. Hopefully we will be able to reach our goal of purchasing property and building a new structure that will have the proper amount of space for dormitories, a kitchen, and a school.

New Bunk Beds

Plans are in the works to obtain sheets for the new beds. There are local “flea markets” in Haiti, where second-hand linens can be purchased. Or, our other option, is to purchase sheets in the DR or US and have them shipped. But in order to do this, funds are required.

Another big thank you goes to Eileen Bardel, an employee of Cloves Lakes Nursing Home in Staten Island. Eileen worked with the residents who made over 60 pillows, some of them to arrive by barrel soon! She is also starting a letter writing project for the residents and children to correspond. Our next report will let you know what interesting things are being discussed!

Pillows made by Seniors

The children have been visited by many people who want to help. In March, Patrice and Glynn from Vermont spent a week there. You can watch a great video of their visit
They spent lots of time at the school, washing clothes, and just generally helping with the every day work.

After their visit, Dr. Patricia Back, a new friend of ours who works with other orphanages in Croix des Bouquets, stopped by to check on the children, and their overall health. She has become a regular visitor, and spends time speaking with Father Bourdeau, and the other people who have been working at the location. You can view her slideshow here.

Most of all, thanks to our sustaining donors, the teachers are working, the nurse is on staff, and medicines are purchased.

Saint-Jean Marie France, who helps prepare three meals a day for the children is given $100.00 per month for her work. In order to keep her on staff permanently, we are seeking a sponsor who can donate $100.00 per month.

Saint-Jean Marie Frances, cooking

The same for D’Aout Relimene, who washes the clothes, a major task since the water has to be carried from the town well daily to hand wash clothes for all the children. For that we are also seeking a sponsor who would like to donate $100.00 per month. Not only will your sustainable donations go directly to help keep both of these workers employed and able to survive in Haiti, but you will be contributing to the wellness of the children.

D'Aout Relimene, washing clothes

You can make a tax deductible donation right here on our website. You can also send a check payable to “Sustainable Orphanages for Haitian Youth” to 7 Sandalwood Drive, Staten Island, NY 10308, or donate via our Paypal button. (These are not tax deductible)

In closing, whatever you decide to do, keep in mind every penny goes directly to helping these children. There is no overhead administrative fee involved, everyone associated with our organization is a non-salaried volunteer who is dedicated to ensuring this project continues.

We hope that the future holds brighter prospects, and that eventually enough money can be raised to create a sustainable living space for these children and others who are in need.

Thank you,

Elaine Brower, President
Sustainable Orphanages for Haitian Youth

Posted in beds, Donors, Newsletter | Comments Off on News From the Orphanage: April, 2011