Friday, December 23, 2016

Decorations at Espwa

Check out our new Christmas sign that's hanging at Espwa's entrance! This beautiful decoration, that glistens during the day and lights up at night, was made by some of the young men who live at Espwa.

These gentleman formed a committee that's responsible for organizing activities for our children to celebrate the Christmas season. Seeing the hard work they have done to make their younger sisters and brothers happy is a beautiful reminder of the importance of family during the holidays.


Friday, October 14, 2016

Clean Up begins

With the help of our older boys including some who had recently left us, our staff started clean up efforts.
 With the primary school in the background where our boys are currently living,  our older boys and some neighbors are cleaning our property of fallen trees.
 Thank goodness our faithful workhouse, an old GMC military pick-up, is still working to help with the clean up.

"Men ampil, chay pa lou" is a Haitian expression that means
"many hands make for light work".  Here's living proof!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Hope restored

Primary school uniform shirts were salvaged from the boys' homes,
 washed and are seen drying in the sun.
After the initial, disheartening reaction to all the destruction, we have started working to improve our situation.  With all hands on deck, the boys and girls under the direction of ChildCare carefully scoured through the mess that Hurricane Matthew left us to see what could be salvaged.
The photo above is proof that this effort was successful.  It is small steps to normalcy like this that allow us to be hopeful.
Thank you for your prayers and support.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Damage Assessment

 Uprooted tree on our property
 One of the boys' homes
Another home in the Boys' Village

Housemothers and our older boys are going through the trashed homes to try and save anything that is useful.  The girls' dome houses just need major clean up.  Any new homes we build will definitely be dome homes. 
So many fallen trees and branches that we can't get to town in a vehicle.  Our staff people are organizing our neighbors to clean up the road so that we can get to the main road to Les Cayes.  Heard that EdH, the state run electric company, stated that there would be no power for months as there was so much damage to poles and wires.
Please keep our children and staff in your prayers.

Father Marc

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Calm after the storm


Hurricane Matthew has finally released southwestern Haiti from its clutches.  In its wake it left unbelievable devastation.  Our children and staff are all safe though exhausted as sleeping through a hurricane like this one was impossible.
We gathered all the children and put them up in our two-story solid Primary School.  Plywood sheets covered the windows in an effort to keep the rain out but the water came in anyway.
When the force of the wind hit us it ripped off the metal roofing on all the boys homes, our Secondary School and the homes in Sitwon.  Trees were uprooted or branches torn off.  It is painful to hear the descriptions of the damage inflicted on Espwa.  There will be no school for the foreseeable future because one school is destroyed and the other is housing our children. One positive note: the girls' village is structurally intact as the homes there are dome buildings. They are a mess inside but can be cleaned up.
All our agricultural projects are gone, wiped out by wind and water. Our mango trees suffered much damage; our banana trees are all laying on their sides and the coconut trees look like bare sticks.
Hundreds of our neighbors from Madame Combe, Pico, etc...came to us after their homes were destroyed.  They were seeking shelter and food.  We'll do what we can but we need help, too.
Please consider giving us a hand as we face the clean-up, repairs and reconstruction.  Go to www.freethekids.org to make a donation.  Keep us in your prayers.

Father Marc

Monday, September 26, 2016

Happy Motivation Monday from Francky!

Happy #MotivationMonday from Pwoje Espwa! We know sometimes the start of the week can be daunting so we asked one of Espwa's own, Francky, what words of advice he has for all of you. He said:

"Sometimes when I am feeling sad and I need to get motivated, I sing. I sing really loud. Singing always makes me feel better. Other times, I think about my family. When I think about them it helps me to feel better too."


We hope his advice helps you feel motivated as you work through the rest of this week!


Friday, September 23, 2016

Creole Lesson: "Panye" and "Gol"


As Espwa children have been working hard in class everyday, one of their favorite things to do when they are not studying is play soccer. You can hear the boys shouting “panye!,” or “shoot!,” to their teammates, and an echoing “gol!” when they score. While the older boys may be out on the field at practice, the younger boys are in the village passing around and sharing laughs. We hope you can get outside today too, and maybe practice your Creole skills along the way!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Teacher Spotlight: Kindergarten

In honor of this month being dedicated to all things back-to-school, we would like to introduce you to one of the teachers who works here at Espwa! This is Madam Yvelyne; she has been teaching for one year and she works with the kindergarteners here at Pwoje Espwa. Madam Yvelyne says her favorite subjects to teach are writing, reading, and oral communication in French. She also loves to watch her students play! For each of her students, she hopes they can continue onto the next class and succeed throughout their schooling. "Mwen renmen tout bagay nan Pwoje a. Tout bagay la bon." ("I love everything about Pwoje Espwa. Everything here is good.")

Friday, September 16, 2016

New Members of the Espwa Family

Espwa extends a warm welcome to the newest members of our family!

In the beginning of September, about 40 boys and girls under the age of 6 were met with smiles and hugs as they arrived at Espwa. As they continue to adjust to their surroundings, they grow more comfortable every day they share with their new friends. They have been attending school for the last few weeks, where they laugh and sing all day. We are excited to watch them learn and grow over the years!

Byenveni timoun!


Monday, September 5, 2016

Bright Smiles for a New School Year

Over the past three days, a returning dental group was here at Pwoje Espwa. From the moment they arrived, they hit the ground running; over the course of two and a half days, they were able to see 325 patients! All children 7 years old and older at Espwa were seen by the dentists, as well as house mothers, Espwa staff, and members of the surrounding community.  On their last day, the Ministry of Health dedicated a beautiful plaque to the group for the years of support they have given to Haiti’s children as a token of their gratitude. There is no way to describe the effect they have on these children’s lives, all in a short period of time. We are endlessly thankful and are so lucky to have them as a part of our Espwa family.








 Their visit came at the perfect time because today was the first day of school! All kids were able to attend school in their fresh uniforms with bright, beautiful smiles. We look forward to a happy and healthy year of learning for all of our children!





Sunday, August 28, 2016

Two Fi Ki Fò Join the Espwa Family

 The Espwa family is proud to present two of our newest members, Edelynne and her little sister, Rosandre! 



When these girls came to Espwa a couple of weeks ago, it was clear that the 4 and 1 year old were in serious need of love and care. During their first couple of days here, they were nervous and hesitant around everyone. Since then, they have established relationships and are smiling, giggling, and learning each day. Edelynne (4) has been practicing her counting and Rosandre (1) is really improving her fine motor skills through play with others. We are so happy that they are showing signs of feeling safe and loved. Our family is blessed to have them!


Two Fi Ki Fò Join the Espwa Family

 The Espwa family is proud to present two of our newest members, Edelynne and her little sister, Rosandre! 





















When these girls came to Espwa a couple of weeks ago, it was clear that the 4 and 1 year old were in serious need of love and care. During their first couple of days here, they were nervous and hesitant around everyone. Since then, they have established relationships and are smiling, giggling, and learning each day. Edelynne (4) has been practicing her counting and Rosandre (1) is really improving her fine motor skills through play with others. We are so happy that they are showing signs of feeling safe and loved. Our family is blessed to have them!


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Blessings from Missouri

Last week, Espwa was blessed to have two friends visit from Missouri. They spent lots of time with all of the children here, leading Vacation Bible School using videos and pamphlets that were all in Creole! They were able to show two movies in French during their visit, which the children loved singing along to. The visitors also made a cake for all of the children and house mothers; they passed it out during their last evening here. We are immensely thankful for all of their donations and their dedication to Espwa’s children. We can’t wait to see them again!






Thursday, August 18, 2016

Espwa Kid Spotlight: Jean Claude

This is Jean Claude. The first picture is from 2010 when he was 10 years old. Here he is in 2016, 16 years old and looking sharp! Jean Claude’s favorite thing about Espwa is going to school where he loves learning French. In his free time, Jean Claude enjoys playing soccer with his friends. When he’s older he wants to be an agronomist. We are so happy to see him growing into a well-rounded young man!

10 years old (2010)

16 years old (2016)

Friday, August 12, 2016

A Visit from Massachusetts Friends

 Over the past week, a group from Massachusetts visited us here at Espwa. Along with bringing tons of love and laughter, they donated clothing, medicine, toys, and school supplies to our children. They also dedicated time and energy to the new mural in the boys’ village, which is almost finished! And, of course, they spent lots of time with the children playing soccer, dancing, learning Creole, and teaching English. Finally, the group was able to pass out care packages to the surrounding community. We are filled with gratitude after their visit. Mesi anpil!