Haiti Foundation Against Poverty

Gift of Hope

Gift of Hope is about keeping families together.

Shortly after the earthquake in 2010 a desperate mother came to us with a dying three-month-old infant. He has been hospitalized and on oxygen during the earthquake. His bed was needed for earthquake victims, and the nurses told his mother she should just take him home because he was going to die anyway. She covered him in a blanket and began walking the several hour-long journey home, not daring to look down, fearing that he would already be dead. When she arrived at her village, HFAP was running a clinic not far from her house. She brought the bundle in her arms and laid him before us. Refusing to look at him, she begged us to take him with us. This dear mother had watched two of her other children die before her eyes, and her heart could not go through the excruciating pain a third time.

Within a few weeks the little boy grew stronger and healthier in our care. His recovery was a true miracle. His story is not rare. Time after time mothers come to our gate, to our clinics, or to our director bringing their children out of desperation. Not once has a mother said, “I don’t love my child. I don’t want to care for them.” Their reasoning is always the need for food, medications, or other necessities which they cannot afford. With no choice left, and their child on death’s doorstep, they search and plea for help.

When we ask these mothers, “If you could provide for your child, would you want to keep him?” The answer is almost always a resounding yes! If these women had an income to provide basic needs for their children they could remain a family and save themselves from such emotional agony. That is what Gift of Hope is all about.

Gift of Hope provides opportunity, training, discipleship, and jobs to women who desire to keep their children but simply cannot afford to do so.

Gift of Hope empowers struggling women to have a better tomorrow.



Biographies:

My name is Jiniole Pierre. I am 20 years old. Since the earthquake on January 12, 2010 I have been living in a tent city with my son Benley. His father was killed in the earthquake, and he was the only person in our whole family who had a job. Benley and I lived in a house made of sticks, tarps, and saran wrap. I was very afraid that he might die in the tent city because there are many sicknesses where we live and other babies his age are dying.

 


Benley is living at HOPE House, Haiti Foundation Against Poverty’s infant care center, until I can earn enough money to move out of the tent city and care for him. I would like to tell you how thankful I am for the Gift of Hope program because it has taught me how to do something to make my life better. When I graduate from the program I would like to open my own store selling hygiene items to other women. I am thankful to God for this new chance at life with my son. I love God very much.

My name is Mideline. I am 22 years old. My parents died when I was very little and I grew up working for my aunt. When I was 20 years old I had a baby girl named Shellsie. Shellsie’s father died before she was born. I struggled to care for her and she became very sick. Haiti Foundation Against Poverty helped me care for Shellsie and kept her until she was healthy again. After the earthquake my life was very hard. Shellsie and I were both positive for HIV. In April 2010, just before her first birthday, Shellsie died. I have been very sad and depressed since April. The Gift of Hope program is the first good thing that has happened to me. I have always wanted to be able to do something for myself and now I can! When I graduate from the program I would like to sell things on the street so I can continue to afford my medication, eat food, and have a place to live. I am thankful to God for this opportunity. He is my life.

My name is FloreMichelle and I am 29 years old. I have two daughters named Victoria and Alexandra. Victoria is 5 and Alexandra is 2. Last year when my mom died I thought my life was over. I had to sell everything we owned to pay for her funeral. We were living with her in a house she was renting and the owner took it away from us even though we paid a whole year. I was living on the streets with my daughters. I asked the director of Haiti Foundation Against Poverty if she could keep my youngest daughter because I could not afford to feed both of them. Instead, she began helping me sell things so I could keep my daughters and find a place to live. When the earthquake happened my girls and I were at my cousin’s house. We made it out alive but my cousins died inside. I am thankful to God because he saved my life. I am so excited to be in the Gift of Hope program. When I graduate from the program I would like to open a small shop selling clothes and shoes. I would like to see my children grow up like other children, having food to eat and a place to sleep.

My name is Gerlande and I am 35 years old. I have four children and a husband. My husband does not have work and we struggle to find enough food to feed our children. Sometimes we do not eat for 2 or 3 days. I would like to tell you why I love God so much. My youngest son, Jivenson, was very sick. I took him to the hospital and they said they would not let dead people in. I sat outside the gate all day saying, "Lord, this is your business not my business, your child, not my child." At 10:00pm the hospital opened the gate and let me in. I sat by his side with the nurses telling me he was going to die. We were sitting on the third floor of the hospital when the earth started shaking. They asked me to take Jivenson home to die because they needed his bed at the hospital for trauma patients. I took Jivenson over to HFAP’s clinic and they agreed to help. He has been living at HOPE House ever since. My family calls Jivenson "Lazar" which means Lazarus in English. I am so thankful that God gave my baby a second chance at life. Without God and Haiti Foundation Against Poverty he would be dead. Now all of my children go to church to thank God for all He has done for us. I am so thankful to be part of the Gift of Hope program. When I graduate I would like to sell rice and beans in my neighborhood because we are all very hungry.
haitipoverty@gmail.com



 
        
   

                        Photography by Marcie Bergstrom, Melissa Diekema and Nichol Krupp.

                              Copyright2011Haiti Foundation Against Poverty 501(c)(3) EIN Number: 20-5155200 Authorized by Haiti Foundation Against Poverty