Children Of Haiti
Update: Click here to view a video giving more details on the Official Grand Opening.
View details for the Children of Haiti Art Sale here [PDF - 950 KB].
Update: Orphanage Project Completed
The project that began in January 2010 to build a new orphanage in Haiti has reached its completion, thanks to the determined efforts of the City of Langford, dedicated volunteers, and the generosity of numerous businesses, agencies and individual donors from the community and beyond.
Following the devastating earthquake on January 12, 2010 that left much of Haiti in ruins, Mayor Stew Young sent an assessment team to Haiti in March of 2010 to see how the City could assist with rebuilding efforts in the poverty-stricken nation.
Following consultation with RCMP Members stationed there, it was determined that the children at the The Baby Jesus of Prague Orphanage in Port Au Prince were in dire need of immediate assistance. While they had next to nothing before the disaster struck, the children were left sleeping on the ground without adequate food, water or shelter following the quake. After discussion with RCMP Corporal Christine Briand and an assessment of the site, work began to provide immediate assistance to the 50 children at the orphanage.
The first money raised provided tents to accommodate the children and staff during the construction phase, and work began immediately on plans to construct a new, earthquake-proof facility that would include a chapel, kitchen, classrooms, washrooms, staff quarters, a potable water reservoir and drinking system, and a security wall around the perimeter. Mayor Young ensured that all money raised would be used in the most cost-effective manner, including the utilization of local labour and materials wherever possible.
A fundraising initiative at Bear Mountain Resort and Spa in June of 2010 spoke volumes about the community's commitment to the project, with more than $100,000 raised for the project. Renowned artist David Goatley donated a painting, and limited edition prints were sold at the fundraising event. Corporal Briand attended the event, where it was announced that the new facility would be dedicated to the memory of RCMP Chief Superintendent Doug Coates and Sergeant Mark Gallagher, who lost their lives during the earthquake.
As the project moved along, more money was raised to provide funds to build additional services and supplies and ensure the long-term sustainability of the orphanage. A donation from the Mayor's Annual Charity Golf Tournament in June, 2011, and another $20,000 raised during a City of Langford Economic Forum in March, 2012 brought the total donated to close to $250,000 to date.
"This project underlines what can be achieved through the hard work of everyone involved in the project and the generosity of businesses and individuals from the community," said Mayor Stew Young in advance of the official opening ceremony he will attend at the orphanage on April 29. "It is extremely humbling and gratifying to see what we have been able to achieve by working together for the children of Haiti."
The City of Langford will acknowledge Jim Hartshorne and family, Allen Vandekerkhove and family , the Alex Campbell family, Rick and Bal Fisher of Glenwood Meats, Roberto Dormino and the Friends of the United Nations, Longsee Foundation and You Change China Social Entrepreneur Foundation, Mr. Kaare Halvorsen, The Canadian Forces, The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Langford Council and residents with a plaque at the official opening ceremony.
Another plaque will be dedicated to Steve Adams. Garrett Baker, Alesha Beckett, Bob Beckett, Glenn Cooper, Anna Fisher, Rick Fisher, Todd Holler, Brian Kerr, Shivonne Kerr, Dan Reynolds, Dave Webb, Brenda Young and Terry Young for their volunteer efforts on the project.
Update: The Goal is in Sight
Ribbon Cutting and Dedication Scheduled for April 2012
In early 2010, following the devastating earthquake in Haiti, an RCMP Officer working with the UN amongst the ruins, learned that the City of Langford was interested in getting involved in a worthwhile rebuilding project. RCMP Cpl. Briand sent an email to Langford inquiring if the offer was genuine, for in fact she personally knew of just such a project. For Christine Briand and her CDN UN colleagues serving in Haiti, had years before, in 1998, "adopted" an orphanage and had supported it the best they could over the years. Now it lay in ruins, with 40 orphans sleeping out in the open with nothing but the odd blanket and some banana leaves.
When we first met Cpl. Christine Briand she told us that she prayed that help would come for these small vulnerable children and two elderly nuns and that the relatively small community of Langford could in fact come through on the offer to rebuild their orphanage. Well she was blown away when, in true Langford form, she was advised by Mayor Young and Council that, within a week of receiving her initial email that, a team of Langford Community Volunteers would be on their way to Port au Prince Haiti to meet up with her and access the situation firsthand. That was March 2010, and since then we have collectively, with a number of generous donors and wonderful partners including international friends, addressed a number of the orphanages' needs.
While the initial goal was to replace the damaged building, our volunteers recognized that there was other work required in order to ensure the safety and sustainability of the orphanage. So, while our building was being designed and built, teams of volunteers using local Haitian labor accomplished the following:
• Built a 12' security wall around the perimeter including a large metal gate and man door for the safety and security of the children.
• Refurbished the outdoor latrines including providing 2 more toilets and providing privacy doors.
• Installed a 500 gal water reservoir to provide for water reserves given the intermittent municipal water supply situation.
• Built a fully enclosed outdoor kitchen complete with a 3-burner propane stove so the children could boil their water and have adequate facilities to cook for 50 or so.
• Provided 2 40 ft. metal sea containers complete with shelving for dry, secure storage.
• Started to level the site so as to provide adequate drainage to remove the disease infested stagnant water.
In addition to the above mentioned goals we are also committed to have a deep well dug, a retaining wall on the inside of the compound built, security wire installed on the top of the perimeter wall, completing the site drainage project, and furnishing our building, all of which will be done in time for the dedication.
Our building, which is scheduled for completion in March 2012, was designed to have a chapel for worshipping, a large dining hall, classroom, kitchen, nuns quarters, washrooms, and a secure storage area. The building is built to a post-disaster standard, is termite proof and can withstand the frequent hurricanes that that region of the world sees almost yearly.
The building and project will be dedicated in April to RCMP Officers Chief Supt. Doug Coates and Sgt. Mark Gallagher who lost their lives in the Haiti earthquake just over two years ago.
As we now near our goal, we would like to acknowledge and thank all those who have generously contributed to the success of our community global project.
If you require additional information, or if you would like to make a donation please visit http://www.teamhaitichildren.com/. Donations can also be made by clicking the "donate" button on this page.
On this shrunken globe, men can no longer live as strangers.
Adlai E. Stevenson
Donate to the Haiti Project
For more information check out the following sites: