News Update – September 19, 2013


After visiting the orphanage home in Deschapelles, Haiti (a 2-hour drive north of Port-au-Prince) as a volunteer in March 2012, Ute joined our volunteer Board of Directors and currently holds the Executive position of Vice-President.  This past February 2013, she visited the home for a second time along with Sharon Dugard (President and Founder of Open Doorways) and two volunteers – Rose and Samantha Unrau. 


Ute shares with us her thoughts and reflections in this message…


During my first visit to Open Doorways Orphanage in March 2012, the children captured my heart.  While initially shy, they are incredibly sweet and just like all children, they are looking for attention and love.  They also have a lot to teach us in that they are happy with very little. 

The country of Haiti and its people are the poorest in the northern hemisphere and have suffered many years of governmental dysfunction, resulting in a complicated economic situation that will take decades to rectify. 

Since the home opened in November 2011, 12 children have joined us.  With increasing financial support, and soon more space, we are able to take on additional children in the upcoming year.  The past year has seen us undertake a number of fundraising projects and as a result we are currently renovating an existing empty building on our property once used as a school.  This will serve as an activities/study room for the children as well as 2 small bedrooms and bathroom for visitors and volunteers. 

Our volunteer board of Directors located in Manitoba strongly believes that education is the key to a better life for our children and the country of Haiti.  Thus we are starting an education fund which will support the children through post-secondary education.

As the children typically have not attended school before they come to us, some are lagging behind and we are pleased that we have been able to hire a tutor during this summer vacation to help them catch up.

During our visit in February 2013, we were thrilled to see various fruit trees planted and we are so looking forward to enjoying some of that fruit as the trees mature.  Already they are beautifying the yard and teaching the kids about planting and taking care of things.  

As we prepare for the additional children and consider their long term educational opportunities, we thank you for your partnership in caring for these children and positively impacting the future of Haiti. 


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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