Q. Where is Love Orphanage located in Haiti?
A. Love Orphanage is located in a residential neighborhood in Croix des Bouquets, a bordering suburb of Haiti’s capital city, Port-au-Prince.
Q. What are Love Orphanage’s official credentials?
A. Love Orphanage went through the lengthy and scrutinizing process of being official licensed by the Haitian government as a recognized orphanage. As such, Love Orphanage has legal guardianship of the children and is responsible for their welfare and care. The Haitian government routinely conducts surprise inspections of orphanages, and in 2014 began a “housekeeping” initiative to shut down many orphanages that are being poorly run. Love Orphanage prides itself on taking great care of our children and following the government protocols.
Q. Why was Love Orphanage necessary?
A. Some of the children were abandoned by their parents after the earthquake because they could no longer care for them. Some parents have deceased. Unlike developed countries that have governmental agencies to care for orphans, the only way they are cared for in Haiti is by orphanages.
Q. Are there any other orphanages in Haiti or near Love Orphanage?
A. There are many orphanages in Haiti. The size, quality, and conditions of orphanages vary greatly. It is common for larger orphanages to have sponsors like American churches, Haitian corporations, or individuals who donate private funds. Because of the funding challenge, orphanages without large sponsors often struggle to make ends meet.
Q. How are children brought to Love Orphanage? Do siblings stay together?
A. Children come to the orphanage by referral from family or community members. There are several pairs of siblings at Love Orphanage. Since the orphanage started in 2011 with 5 children, it has grown slowly by taking in more children.
Q. Will Love Orphanage continue to accept more children?
A. In order for Love Orphanage to accept additional children, more funding and a larger space are necessary.
Q. How many staff support does Love Orphanage have?
A. Love Orphanage has three full time support staff that provide cooking, cleaning, childcare, house maintenance, and security. Two of the support staff live on the premises.
Q. What is school like for children at Love Orphanage?
A. So all of the children at Love Orphanage except for the very youngest are now going to school. The educational system in Haiti is very traditional and focuses on the basic subjects: math, reading, history and science with most memorization. Many teachers in Haiti are not highly qualified so the education in many schools is not great quality. Students always wear uniforms and must buy their books and supplies. This is additional cost and hard for many parents to purchase.
Q. How did the earthquake, in 2010, affect Haitian children?
A. An estimated 300,000 people were killed in the 2010 earthquake, including many mothers, fathers, and people with families to support. Hundreds of buildings were destroyed, which eliminated thousands of jobs. Because Haiti was already a poor country, the earthquake was even more devastating and many children lost their parents. Some surviving parents were no longer able to support their children and had to abandon them.
Q. How does poverty impact the children’s day to day lives?
A. Poverty affects the children in many ways. Because they were born into poverty, many of them were severely malnourished before coming to Love Orphanage. Their health has improved, but still lacks full nutrition due to the diet of white rice, pasta, beans, and little protein or vegetables. Poverty also means no regular access to medical care for doctor’s visits. It affects quality of living, such as electricity, transportation, access to education, or even entertainment.
Q. Can I really make a difference?
A. It really is possible to make a difference when many people give what they can. All donations and money go directly to the orphanage. So when people choose to give, they are having a direct on Love Orphanage and making a real difference.
Q. How is Love Orphanage funded?
A. Personal savings of our President and Founder, Gabriel Fedelus, assistance from friends and family, and private donations.
Q. How are monetary donations allocated? Does my entire donation go to Love Orphanage?
A. A tax exempt 501c3, We The Village, was established to spread awareness, raise funds, and support Love Orphanage. We The Village is volunteer based, which means monetary donations go directly to their intended cause, and not administrative overhead. There is a small Paypal processing fee, otherwise all donations are distributed to Love Orphanage to support their needs.
Q. Is it safe to travel to Haiti?
A. As mentioned in the US State Department Travel Warning, hundreds of thousands of Americans visit Haiti every year. However it is important to be aware of the risks and take necessary precautions. For more information, visit http://travel.state.gov While we can provide assistance and suggestions in making travel plans and minimizing risk, individuals are ultimately responsible for making sure they adhere to precautions and use their own judgment.
Q. Can donations be shipped to Haiti?
A. Shipping to Haiti is logistically risky and expensive. For this reason, supplies are normally transported by volunteers themselves. This limits what can transported at one time, but assures that the donations make it to Love Orphanage.