Free the Kids, a 501 (c) (3) non-denominational, non-sectarian foundation, is the United States based funding arm of Pwoje Espwa Sud, or Project Hope. Its mission is to alleviate the devastating effects of poverty on the youth of southern Haiti by providing a home and refuge for orphaned and vulnerable children. PES is currently home to around 450 children, aged 9 months to 20 years, with another 150 non-residents dependent for food and clothing. In addition, the six PES schools educate approximately 1500 non-resident students whose parents are unable to afford alternatives. The Haitian government does not have resources to provide any help for these children, and many would be living on their own were it not for Pwoje Espwa.
Free the Kids and Pwojè Espwa Sud are guided by some basic, yet demanding principles. We do not give money blindly, as that practice can create a culture of dependency amongst those in need. Rather, we attempt to instill a sense of pride in the daily accomplishments of our children and staff, promoting long-term progress. Personal empowerment and holistic development are our mission.
We aim to measure our success by how our investments have changed a single child, a family, a group of children, or, in this case, an entire generation of children in both the short and long term. Several of our former residents have gone on to vocational school or university; one is completing medical school and will subsequently return to run our clinic. Others have trained in trade and found employment. We strive to help each of our children meet their potential in education, but most importantly we provide the reality of a roof over their head, clean water to drink, medical care, dental care, a quality school to attend and hope for the future. It is our sincere hope that our projects outlast and perseveres far beyond our mortal lives.