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Archive for December, 2018

Story of Light: Meet Peter






You are the light for the children this holiday season, and every season.



Meet Peter.

Peter grew up with 6 other siblings under the care of his mother. A single parent with very little education, Peter’s mother is illiterate and struggled to find profitable work. During mango and avocado seasons, she trades produce at the local market, bringing in a meager 50 gourdes per day – that’s less than US$1.

In a country where education is not free, many Haitians cannot afford to go to school. Only about 60% of the Haitian population is literate, and an average Haitian, age 25 and older, has only 5 years of schooling. Without a basic education, finding a stable, profitable job is even more difficult.

Living under the international (US$1.90/day) and national extreme poverty lines (US$1.23/day), it is difficult for a single individual to survive. Supporting another 6 people, Peter’s mother could barely afford to keep her children fed.

This is why Peter’s mother brought him to Pwoje Espwa in February 2010 – so that he may have access to consistent care and the quality education she never had the opportunity to receive.

Now 16-years-old, Peter has made tremendous progress academically and developmentally. He is in Secondary I at Pwoje Espwa, where his teachers claim he is on the road to an exceptional school career. Social workers, teachers and staff members describe him as having extreme motivation and ambition – a prominent actor in his own life.

Peter dreams big. “Every time I go to sleep, I always take a few minutes to think about my future. I really love medicine. I feel like it will give me the opportunity to do what I want to do most in the world: helping others, especially those who are less fortunate than me.”

“The socio-economic conditions of my family are very difficult,” Peter says. “If I were at home, I may not have reached where I am today. But with the help of Pwoje Espwa, I feel I am on a good path.”

In 2 years, Peter will enter the Transition Program, where he will be able to attend 2 years of vocational school with the continued guidance of psychosocial staff and financial support from Pwoje Espwa. He will have the opportunity to pursue his dreams, and live a life of dignity.


Share God’s light and blessings with the children at Pwoje Espwa this holiday season. Yours is a gift that keeps on giving when you provide opportunities to grow and thrive. 

Light a Candle of Care.


Be the Light for Nèhèmie

This advent season, we are reminded of the overwhelming generosity of our donors who have shared God’s love and light with hundreds of kids like Nèhèmie at Pwoje Espwa for the last 20 years. 

You can be a hand in sharing His light when you light a Candle of Care and make a promise that the basic, essential needs of the 250 children at Pwoje Espwa Sud will be covered every day.

Be the light – Make a gift today

Meet Nèhèmie.

January 12, 2010 began as a relatively normal day for Nèhèmie. The daughter of separated parents, she was spending a few days with her father. Her mother and sister were located on the other side of the capital city of Port-au-Prince.

Amidst the screams piercing the clouds of dust that climbed from the hundreds of toppled hospitals, government buildings, schools, and homes, at 5-years-old Nèhèmie would never see her mother or sister again.

Nèhèmie’s father brought her to one of the hundreds of emergency shelters that appeared in the aftermath of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that catapulted Haiti into an ever-deepening devastation. Nèhèmie does not remember seeing her father again.

For the next 4 years, Nèhèmie would move from temporary care with one distant family member to another. Her uncle brought her to her grandmother after she got into a fight with another girl at the age of 8. When her grandmother died suddenly, she ended up in Les Cayes with an adoptive aunt.

Her aunt earned a living selling imported chicken, but the meager profits did not allow her to take care of her own family, let alone a young girl she barely knew. Remembering a friend worked for an organization supporting vulnerable children, she reached out to a staff member. In September 2014, Nèhèmie was welcomed to Pwoje Espwa Sud.

Now 13-years-old, Nèhèmie is a friendly and respectful member of the Espwa family.

  • She has a stable, comfortable place to sleep.
  • She knows she will receive 3 nutritious meals every day.
  • She loves to play soccer with her friends, and she holds strong relationships with her house monitors, teachers and other staff members on campus.
  • She goes to class every week day, where her mind wanders to dreams of her future. She hopes to become a nurse, so she can help those who suffer. 

Nèhèmie carries the weight of painful past, but the hope and stability she has found at Pwoje Espwa relieves some of that burden from her shoulders.



Because the 5 basic areas of care are covered – food, shelter, clothing, education, and medical care – the weight of her past and day-to-day survival do not keep her from pursuing the opportunity of a successful future.



This advent season, you can support a child like Nèhèmie.

Every child deserves the opportunity to a happy, healthy life. We rely on gifts like yours for each Candle of Care to stay lit throughout the year.



I fell in love with Espwa during my first visit last year. Hard to put into words, but there was a real "heart" connection with the kids and staff. It is a special place. My visit was focused primarily on the girls and the teachers. Relationships were initiated during that first visit that I treasure very much!

- Maria Simeone

There is hardly a more heartbreaking sight than seeing an orphan in Haiti--many of them who have families who simply cannot feed and clothe them. Of course there is the emotional response to their plight, but there is a more pragmatic hope--that given a chance in a loving, caring environment, these children can grow up to be leaders, people who can move their communities and the country itself in a positive, healthy direction.

- Jackie Wilson

This place is amazing! The kids and their caregivers will restore your faith in the human spirit. The magic of Espwa is that there is a childhood provided for the kids there that would not exist otherwise.Haiti has a very very long way to go, but this is a hopeful place with clean, well fed, happy children, teachers, house moms, and support staff. Fr Marc and all of the others should be very proud of their accomplishments. Help them in any way that you can!

- Kerri McDonough Croland
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