News Update - May 4, 2013


Visit to the orphanage

This past February 2013, Sharon Dugard (President and Founder of Open Doorways), Ute Rehill (Board Member) and two volunteers – Rose Unrau and her 19-year old daughter Samantha from Winnipeg visited for one week the children and staff at our orphanage in the community of Deschapelles (a two-hour drive north of the capital city of Port-au-Prince).

Here is Rose's story…

This year has so far been one of the most amazing and incredible years of my life. Ever since I was eighteen years old, I have had a desire to serve on some sort of mission trip.  As I became older and learned that my gifting was to work with children, I knew it had to be at an orphanage. When my daughter, Samantha, expressed at a very young age her desire to work at an orphanage, I started to pray that God, in His own timing, would make it possible for us to experience a mission trip together.  My prayer was answered and on February 15, 2013 our dream became a reality.  Samantha and I left as volunteers for a week at the Open Doorways Orphanage in Haiti.

One of the most memorable moments for me was when we arrived at the orphanage.   The children ran into our arms with big hugs and kisses, and it didn’t stop until the day we left.   The children taught me so much and showed me that happiness doesn’t come from possessions, but rather by loving each other and taking care of each other. When one child was given something, he or she always made sure to share it with the others. From the moment you woke up until you went to sleep, the home was filled with laughter. You could not help but feel complete joy and love for each and every child.

I also learned that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. At our arrival in Port-au-Prince on our first day, I was struck by all the poverty and destruction caused by the January 2010 earthquake but I quickly chose not to focus on what the Haitians didn’t have and instead on their inner beauty and the hope that was clearly evident in their eyes.

I realize that there is so much more to life than just tending to my own needs and going about my day-to-day life. I have given a part of myself to those children at Open Doorways, and I will always carry a part of them close to my heart. I will continue to pray for each and every child and staff member and do my part as I go back to living my life here. 

I will never forget this amazing adventure, the impact it had in my life, and the gratitude I feel to have been able to share this experience with my daughter. Open Doorways Orphanage is doing amazing things for children in Haiti and, I am so blessed and thankful to have been given the opportunity to serve alongside with Sharon and Ute.

Kim Semonick, Grades 3-4 Teacher, Gillis School, Tyndall, MB

Sharon Dugard, president and founder of Open Doorways Orphanage, has visited our school in the last few years to speak of her experiences in Haiti.

The students have been very inspired by her and her dream of building an orphanage for children in that country struggling with poverty.

They were moved to hear there are many children without a home, food or even a chance to go to school, all of which many of us take for granted.

With new awareness, Student Council decided to help this charity and began raising funds through sales of cookies and Freezies.

There is nothing more important in the world than making sure children are fed and sheltered.  We thank this organization for their hard work and thrilled Open Doorways is now a reality in Haiti.  We will continue having fundraisers for this wonderful project and happy to be able to contribute in a small way.

Open Doorways has given us the opportunity to learn not only with our minds but also with our hearts.

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