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. 

Irene Hudek

After having experienced being in Haiti with Project Teach, I am very aware of the tremendous poverty and need in this county.  It is so great it could be overwhelming.

I realize the only way to provide some support is to do it one step at a time.  The Open Doorways Orphanage is doing just that. 

It is making the difference in some children’s lives by providing them with the basics as well as an education and a sense of belonging to a family.

I am very pleased to have the opportunity to be a supporter of this fine organization.  "Together we can make a difference".

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