We are sometimes asked why we contribute to children in Haiti rather than support the poor in the US. When you see Haitian poverty first hand, the realization sets in that you cannot even begin to compare US poverty with that in Haiti. With our federal social programs, generous population, and overall higher standard of living, a Haitian would find poverty in the US a welcome respite.
Imagine the outcry in this country if fellow citizens were eating dirt to survive? Read more at http://www.elitereaders.com/haiti-mud-cookies-poverty/. Sadly, this continues in 2016.
At Honey Sweetie Acres we believe strongly in giving to worthy causes. We are so appreciative of our wonderful customers and our success, that we feel it is important to give back. The problem is so many people need help in this day and age and there are so MANY legitimate needs, how do you decide?
For us, the decision was based on my personal experience with a charity that successfully and lovingly changes children’s very lives and futures. After the Haitian earthquake in January of 2010, like thousands of others who watch the aftermath unfold on TV, I saw the turmoil, havoc, and despair of a people who had lost everything,….. especially their families. I decided I wanted to directly help and looking for an organization I could join, work and travel to Haiti with. I found that and much more at Vilaje Espwa or “Free The Kids” in Les Cayes, Haiti. “Free The Kids” mission is to provide basic shelter, food, medical care, religious and educational instruction to the neediest of children.
For 10 days in mid-April of 2010, my time was spent Vilaje Espwa compound helping as directed and wherever the need was greatest. I was struck by how even the poorest of the poor in the United States, had so much more than these people had or would potentially ever have. I came home feeling less patience for those who complained about everyday living….. for now, I knew…… they had no idea how hard life could actually be.
In January of 1998, Father Marc resigned his commission in the Navy Chaplain Corps and moved to Haiti to fulfill his calling to alleviate the effect of poverty on Haiti’s children. By October he had taken over an abandoned building and provided a home to 15 children, which grew to 60, then 125. In 2002, the dream of building a suitable home became a reality. With the support of US donors, 25 acres of land was purchased outside Les Cayes to become the orphanage/farm of Vilaje Espwa (named Hope Village by the children).
Today, Hope Village encompasses well over 100 acres. At Hope Village, they have planted a farm, built dormitories and schools, and begun vocational training to teach the children viable trades to secure their future. The majority of the children either have no family or their families do not have the means to feed or care for them.
You can argue political instability, government bureaucracy and corruption, lack of education, and historical evidence as to why Haiti is in the shape it is. Regardless of the socioeconomic or political causes and effects, Free the Kids provides the children of Haiti the tools to change their lives and their country. They are Haiti’s future.
Honey Sweetie Acres is donating shipments of soap to Pwoje Espwa for the children’s daily care. We send our shipments to an ESPWA Leader in Charlton, Massachusetts, who then transports the soap to the Village on our behalf. That way, we know the soap arrives safely. We all know how all kids love to get dirty! The dry, hot climate of Haiti wreaks havoc on the skin, so our goat milk soap has found an ideal home!
If you would like to donate to any future shipments, simply send us an email letting us know which product you would like to donate. We will also donate an additional bar to match any bar you choose to contribute. It is simply an opportunity for you to make a small contribution in concert with us, if you wish. We are happy to send you a letter for tax deduction purposes.
To learn more about Espwa, please visit www.FreeTheKids.org. You can sponsor a child, follow their blog or simply follow the work that they do and keep them in your prayers. This is a charity that uses funds to actually change lives. Free the Kids is a 5 star rated charity by America’s largest charity watchdog, Charity Navigator. Free the Kids scored 70 out of 70 for Accountability & Transparency. Over 89.3% of the funds received are directly applied to the children and their needs. Administrative expenses are 3.2% and Fundraising expenses account for 7.4%.
I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore,that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again.
Etienne de Grellet
Preparing New Shipment for 2016!