Project Milestones

1995

  • During Sharon Dugard’s first visit to Haiti and holding an orphan named Andre, a seed planted itself deep in her heart with the vision of building an orphanage.

2003

  • The seed sprouted and Sharon went public with her vision
  • Many volunteers started giving of their talents and time in preparing an information board for public event, printing of pamphlets and fundraising events

2004

  • Volunteer Board of Directors was formed 

2006

  • Open Doorways Orphanage became Incorporated

2007

  • Open Doorways Orphanage Inc. became a registered Canadian charity

2009

  • A parcel of land in the community of Deschapelles (two-hour drive north of the capital city Port-au-Prince) was offered to Open Doorways.   

2010

  • February
    • Digging for the foundation of the security wall
  • March
    • 40 men and women (local and some displaced after earthquake in Port-au-Prince) hired to work on the ODO project
  • April
    • digging for the foundation of the orphanage
    • manufacturing of the entrance gate
    • small door in security wall giving access to the school yard
  • July
    • Raising wall for the orphanage
  • August
    • Consolidating walls for the orphanage by pouring concrete in the posts
  • October
    • Concrete roof
  • December
    • Outside front stairway leading into the home

2011

  • January - August
    • Finishing – kitchen cupboards, bathrooms, flooring, painting…
  • September
    • orphanage is complete
    • yard work underway
    • a lot of the furnishings are in
    • one staff hired to organize inside
  • November 15
    • three girls, Frazimene, Christlene & Nagella became the first three children in the ODO family

2012

  • March
    • there are now 10 chilldren in the ODO family (6 girls and 4 boys)
    • ODO has 8 locally hired staff (manager, housemother, 2 assistant house mothers, head cook, assistant cook, laundry lady, yard/maintance man)
    • Sharon, Lil Gauthier (Board Member) and 2 volunteers – Corie Koch and Ute Rehill visited the children and staff
  • October
    • cooks are no longer using charcoal for making meals but using a propane burner

2013

  • January
    • Honda 3KW generator was purchased
    • Sidewalk was poured to the outside kitchen and another one to the door giving access to the school yard
  • February 
    • there are now 12 children in the ODO (7 girls and 5 boys)
    • ODO has 9 locally hired staff (addition of a gentleman for night security)
    • Sharon, Ute Rehill (Board Member) and 2 volunteers – Rose & Samantha Unrau visited the chlldren and staff
    • fruit trees were planted alongside the security wall
  • Up-coming projects for 2013
    • Renovation of vacant building on property into a studies/activities room for the children, 2 bedrooms for visitors and one bathroom

2014

  • Completed renovation of vacant building on property.  It is now used as a studies/activities room and can accommodate any visitors

  • Tutor was hired to assist the children with their education

  • Manitoba resident and retired schoolteacher Irene Hudek visited and volunteered for a few weeks. She was able to share her music and teaching skills with both the children and staff.

  • One of our employees, Edeline, left her position to pursue Nursing in Port Au Prince. 

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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