Thursday, December 31, 2015

Meet Urbain Chery

Meet Urbain Chery, one of Espwa's first students, who is a living example of the opportunities that can arise after Espwa.

Espwa started supporting Urbain Chery at the age of 15, paying for his education and giving him a safe place to live. After he graduated school, he was able to find funding to go to university in Port-au-Prince where he studied engineering. 

His education and determination led him to his current job, where he works for an NGO and is head of a major construction project installing clean water systems around Haiti. He now lives in Camp Perrin, a town about 45 minutes outside of Espwa, and we were fortunate to be able to catch up with him and learn of his accomplishments! 

One of the most important lessons Espwa taught him is that "luke warm is no good" and that you should always strive for excellence. Good luck Urbain with all of your accomplishments!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Monday, December 21, 2015

Espwa Nan Nwel

Sunday night was the grand finale of Espwa’s annual six-week singing competition, Espwa Nan Nwel. Talented singing groups from Espwa and the community competed each week performing all original songs in front of a panel of three local celebrity judges.

The groups were narrowed down each week based on their scores and the winner, "Union of Stars," took home the grand prize last night!

The night was filled with guest performances from Espwa’s own Babtime to musicians from around Haiti. 

It is one of the favorite events of the year!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas Time at Espwa

Espwa is getting ready for Christmas! Decorations are on display in the Guest House, 

thanks to the generosity of our visitors, over 300 Christmas bags with gifts for each child is packed and ready to be handed out on Christmas Day,

and excitement is in the air for Sunday's final round of the 2015 Espwa Nan Nwel annual youth singing competition!

As we partake in festivities here at Espwa, we hope you and your loved ones are having a joyous holiday season. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Friends from SC help renovate the quad!

 This past week we were visited by a wonderful group of eleven from South Carolina! Some of their projects included doing touch-up paint work in the clinic and painting the old finance office in the quad. The room is now being used for English classes and will soon be turned into a computer lab. In addition to painting, they paid for the quad replace our two outdated refrigerators.

The group also set up a water balloon fight and a field day!

 The field day consisted of a dunk tank, a bouncy house, and tattoos and hair paints for the kids. Needless to say, everyone left happy and stylish! 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

New Garden!

Since the tree in the front courtyard of the quad fell down in a rainstorm a few months ago and plants were becoming overgrown, the quad's courtyard has been in need of landscaping. 

Thanks to the generosity of our friends from South Carolina, we were able to work with Espwa's agronomy staff to design and plant a new garden for the guesthouse, as well as do a much-needed paint job on the garden wall. 

While still putting on the finishing touches, we can't wait to see these plants fully bloom and provide some shade for welcoming guests!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Little Jamesly is growing up!

Jamesly (one of Espwa's toddlers) recently made the transition from the girls' village to the boys' village. Ever since the move, Jamesly has been beaming nonstop!

If you would like to make a donation to support Espwa and children like Jamesly, please visit  Thank you for your continued support and prayers. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Valparaiso University

Last week Espwa was extremely fortunate to be visited by Valparaiso (Valpo) University! The group was led by Professor Blood, who has been coming to Espwa for years. Professor Blood teaches engineering at the university, and showed Espwa students how to work a 3D printer and he even made bracelets for some of the girls! In addition, the group brought various academic supplies for the secondary school and talked to the ten oldest girls about how to create a business plan. 

The group also split up and worked with Espwa students on their English conversational skills and reading comprehension. 

And of course it wouldn't be a proper trip to Espwa without arts and crafts.While the students were here they made bracelets, paper Christmas trees, and butterflies out of coffee filters.  

Thank you, Valpo University! We look forward to your next visit! 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

From our home to yours, we hope you and your loved ones had a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

We were able to continue the American tradition here at Espwa, giving thanks for our blessings and sharing turkey, stuffing, gravy, and pie with our staff and visitors. 

We even were able to catch some of the game!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Universal Children's Day

Yesterday was Universal Children's Day, and Espwa celebrated with a field day! To the children's delight, school was canceled and activities included a soccer game, dancing, musical chairs, and potato sack races.

On a more serious note, our child care office arranged a workshop on Thursday for all the housemothers and other Espwa staff. They discussed how to better care for the children of Espwa and how to make sure all of their rights are protected.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Thanksgiving Message from Father Marc Boisvert Founder of Free the Kids

A Thanksgiving Message from Father Marc Boisvert 
Founder of Free the Kids

“Thanksgiving” is what comes to mind at this time of year.  For many it is the holiday of the month sandwiched in between October’s Halloween and December’s Christmas.  Here in Haiti Thanksgiving is basically celebrated by our American staff and volunteers.  There are no parades or lots of hoopla for Black Friday or thoughts of turkey with all the trimmings.  To be honest, it is much easier to focus on the real meaning of giving thanks when there are fewer distractions.

We are thankful for the children in our care who keep us grounded, who bring so much value to our lives, who make us laugh and cry.

We are thankful for all the folks who help us with their prayers, with their encouragement, with their selfless giving because all this allows us to fulfill our roles here with the children. 

For me, Thanksgiving is synonymous with Eucharist (eucharist is Greek for thanksgiving ), an action taken by a Christian community to thank God for the gift of His son, Jesus, who by His incarnation (Christmas) and His work of redemption (Easter) we are healed and made whole. 

We are forever thankful to our Savior for our ongoing healing which empowers us to desire the healing of others.

Soon it will be Christmas when we will celebrate the greatest gift, God’s gift to us in the person of Jesus. 

The giving of gifts to people we love is a wonderful tradition based on God’s generosity.  We count on your gifts that will directly impact our children.  They need good food, decent clothing, safe shelter, quality education and medical care.  We can’t provide these without you.

May God shower you with His blessings in the coming weeks and reward you for caring for His little ones in southern Haiti.

Free the Kids, Inc.  5704 W. Market St. #8947, Greensboro, NC 27419 

844-222-6300 phone ... 888-423-2447 fax ...

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Espwa Shout-Out

Check out this great article on Espwa featured on Intelsat's website!

The companies Intelsat and On Call together provide internet access at Espwa. Thanks to their generosity, the Espwa community is able to benefit from the insurmountable benefits of internet access such as students learning about different cultures through conferencing with American students, staff updating supporters of activities at Espwa, and visitors having a connection to friends and family at home during their visits. Thank you Intelsat and On Call for your generosity and services!

Friday, November 13, 2015

From Painting Nails to Painting the Clinic

Last week we were extremely fortunate to be visited by six women from New Jersey! Not only did they re-paint the trim on the clinic, they also did many activities with the kids and house mothers. 

They hosted a spa day for the house moms and gave a piece of jewelry to every woman who attended! 

They also taught the older girls how to make beautiful necklaces with sea glass and the younger girls how to make rings out of buttons. 

But teaching English class was where their skills shined the brightest! They read The Cat in the Hat and patiently helped every student assemble complex sentences. 

Thank you!!