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Message from Fr. Marc

June 22, 2018

Dear Friends,

My hope is that you are all well and enjoying the summer season. It has been a while since I have written, so I decided to put my fingers to the keyboard. It seems like a good time to update you on a few things.

As many of you know, I have had health issues during the past couple of years which kept me from being at Espwa full-time. I am doing well but realize the importance of having access to up-to-date medical technology and quality care that is simply not available in Haiti. 

Being away from Espwa has allowed me to reflect on the future of our mission and my role there. I’m proud of all that has been accomplished over the past 20 years, made possible only through your exceptional generosity. We have endured some very difficult times and have seen some absolutely amazing transformations. I feel nothing but gratitude for having had the opportunity to work with our Haitian children and to witness the growth and success of so many.

That being said, it is time for change. For Espwa to persevere in Haiti for another 20 years requires new leadership with new skill sets, both with staff members in the U.S. and in Haiti. We are blessed to have a Board of Directors committed to the welfare of the children and to have Executive Director Frank Irr at the helm as we chart and navigate new waters (did you know I served in the Navy?). Our terrific FTK staff, especially Controller Lisa Hyatt, has proven to be invaluable. Jack Reynolds plays a key role with donor relations.

We have already made some remarkable changes in Haiti. Change is often painful, occasionally a relief, but change is unavoidable in order to move forward or make improvements. We will continue to change, to evolve as necessary to promote the well-being of the children. Not only must we protect our children, but it is essential to protect the institution, the structure created to serve their needs, along with being good stewards of our limited resources.

I’ve just returned from Haiti and will be starting my annual ritual of flying around the country to preach/fundraise. I look forward to seeing many familiar and friendly faces.

Your past support is deeply appreciated. Your continued support is vital, maybe now more than ever.  

You remain in my prayers.

God Bless,

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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