Wednesday, July 29, 2015


There was a knock on our gate and when I went to look, there was this little boy standing there with expectant eyes, ten years old and skinny as a rail.  His father, a mechanic from Port-au-Prince, had abandoned him on our doorstep - this child was Evenson.  Abandoned by his family at a very young age he is now one of Espwa’s many treasured children.

Little by little, he began to smile, to meet friends, and become engaged with his new life at Pwoje Espwa.  Evenson was a stand out soccer player. Unfortunately, in the spring of 2013, Evenson and a close friend were in a terrible motorcycle accident that almost took his life.  Evenson was rushed to Port-Au-Prince (PAP) laying in a puddle of blood in the back of an Espwa vehicle, accompanied by an Espwa nurse and a staff person.  After being denied entry from 3 hospitals, they found one to take him and by the grace of God he survived. 

Currently, Evenson has a serious medical issue affecting his ability to urinate which could be life threatening if not addressed.  So far, he has received a sonogram at the local hospital here in Les Cayes.  After seeing a blockage in the urethra, the doctor has decided that Evenson needs to go to Port-Au-Prince for further exploration of the medical issue which will more than likely result in the need for surgery. 

These unexpected emergencies cannot be covered by our operating budget.  We are in dire need of donations TODAY to pay for Evenson’s transportation to Port-au-Prince, his lab work and whatever surgery he will need.  Our best guess at this point is $1600.00.  Donations can be made directly to FTK designated for Evenson’s medical fund.

We pray that God would direct your hearts to help in any way you are able – THANK YOU in the name of all Espwa’s children, especially Evenson. 


SEND CHECKS TO:   Payable to Free the Kids (Designate in memo: emergency medical fund)

                                    FREE THE KIDS
                                    5704 W. MARKET ST. #8947
                                    GREENSBORO, NC  27419

CREDIT CARD:  (Designate in memo: emergency medical fund)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Meal Time!

For about a month Espwa's children have been enjoying breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the new dining hall. 

Three times a day, the house mothers walk their group to the dining hall toting plates and silverware for each of their kids. 

It is great to see the kids eating together as an Espwa community!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

You are unstoppable!

Last week, as a continuation of Espwa's Fi Ki Fo program, teenage girls at Espwa were shown a short film produced by Always, depicting young women writing down what holds them back and then physically breaking down those barriers. After watching the video and discussing what held them back from becoming strong women, everyone wrote down something that they thought limited them.

The girls wrote things such as, "I'm not courageous. I'm not strong. We're not smart." 

 But, after the girls each read their limits,  they told each other they were unstoppable and willfully ripped up their papers and threw them into the air!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Graduation Celebration!

Yesterday, 62 students graduated from Espwa's professional school in various disciplines including tailoring, masonry, carpentry, and metal work.

Over the past two years, they spent four hours a day, four days a week plus apprenticeships learning their skills. The students who received diplomas were a mix of Espwa students and students from the community.

This year's graduation ceremony was dedicated to Espwa's former medical director, Dr. Cynthia. 

We wish them luck on their future endeavors!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Parker Mission Hard at Work

For the past three years, the Parker Family, Cameron, Jane and their two kids Annabelle, and Davis, have dedicated their summers to running the youth agriculture program at Espwa. Cameron, who directs the program, works with local university students and Espwa students on various agricultural projects on Espwa's property. 

The university students volunteer as part of an internship program to get hands on agronomy experience. This year they planted banana and okra fields at Espwa, as well as making compost piles for fertilizer. 

The boys' summer program involves around 40 Espwa students, who spend five mornings a week, learning skills such as how to plant crops, build fences for farm animals, and making fertilizer out of compost. 

Through hard work, the program hopes to increase the amount of food the farm can provide to Espwa's kitchen, teach entrepreneurial skills, and be an opportunity to engage with the community. Thank you Parkers for sharing your summers with Espwa's youth! For more information, visit

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Catholic Youth Rally in Les Cayes

This weekend ten of Espwa's older kids, two girls and eight boys, represented Espwa at the first annual Catholic Youth Rally that was held in Les Cayes. Five thousand youth from all over Haiti came for four days to participate in talks, networking activities, singing, and dancing. Mass this morning was celebrated by our cardinal Chibly Langloins. The focus of the conference was on your identity as a Haitian Catholic and building community. 

It was a huge program and they managed to pull it off extremely well. It was exciting to travel through town and see hundreds of youth participating in these events--right in Espwa's backyard!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Training for Espwa Staff!

This past week, Espwa staff participated in a management and leadership workshop led by Frank, an Espwa board member. Frank first met Father Marc while serving in the US Coast Guard in 1995. After many years as a donor, Frank realized his management skills could be used to inspire an even more effective Espwa team. Espwa directors discussed how to keep a high moral, practiced active listening, and performance feedback training. He also worked with the leadership to enhance communication and focus on priority needs of the kids. Thanks for all your hard work, Frank!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Ribbon Cuttings at Espwa!

Yesterday Father Marc along with Espwa's staff blessed the long-awaited new administration building and kitchen--one of the final but necessary steps before they open!

The administration building will house the offices for most of Espwa's staff, and is equipped with internet, bathrooms, meeting rooms, a courtyard, offices and electricity. 

The kitchen is now where Espwa's cooks will prepare meals for all of Espwa's children. There are several new gas stoves, pots and pans, refrigerators, a food preparation area, and new devices such as food processors! The opening of the kitchen also now means the kids can all eat together instead of in their villages. 

Stay tuned for more updates on these exciting developments at Espwa!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Field Day at Espwa!

Espwa was very lucky to have a group from outside Boston to come and set up a field day for the kids! Activities included tug-of-war, water games, face painting, and a bouncy house.  

The group also set up a movie night and daily lacrosse games. 

Thank you!!!