In the midst of this crisis, many readers of RainbowKids have called and emailed, wondering what can be done for Haiti 's orphans. While it is not possible to adopt Haitian children who have been separated from their families (due to their undetermined orphan status), there is still much that may be done to ease the suffering of these children.
While the need to take in additional children is being considered by the orphanage staffs, it must also be noted that the caretakers of the orphanages are primarily Haitian women who have their own families to care for during this time of tragedy. Fortunately, we are hearing reports of local families coming forward in the
less damaged areas to offer temporary care for the children of the orphanages. Though poor economically, it should be noted that the people of Haiti are a warm and loving people who recognize the needs of their community. They are reaching out to one another, offering their homes and care whenever possible.
Currently, the greatest challenge is getting the much needed supplies in and around the country. Most of these orphanages are small, housing from 12 to under 100 children.
If you would like to donate, please contact one of the following organizations or orphanages working with children in the orphanages of Haiti:
Carolina Adoption Services: Working with
Maison des Anges in Tabarre. CAS reports that they have 90 children, with the majority under the age of 2 years. Thankfully, all of the children are unhurt. The orphanage has sustained some structural damage, but the extent of damage is not yet clear. CAS is concerned about basic supplies of food and water for the children.
Children's House International: Working with
Creche Enfante Jesus. CHI reports little damage at the orphanage and no injuries to children. Major damaged to their office/receiving center in
Port-au-Prince, but no one was injured. Greatest Need: Food and Water. They are recommending that all donations go through Chances for Children, to help the orphanages most in need.
Tree of Life Adoption Center: Working with HIS Home for Children in Port-au-Prince and Foyer de Sara. TOLA reports that all children are okay and,
"The boys' house is damaged, one wall fell down. The children and staff are sleeping outside, afraid that the aftershock will crumble the house. Today they were planning to move the furniture out of that house and find another place to move them. There's about 100 (over) kids in the two location s for HIS Home". They are asking for prayers for their generator that is not in good condition, and that they are able to gather enough food and water to hold them over during this crisis.
Bethany Christian Services: Working with
God's Littlest Angels orphanage and The Creche Enfants Jesus. Bethany reports that God's Littlest Angels received no damage or
injuries, and little structural damage at The Creche. They also report that both orphanages are willing to take in more children as needed. They ask for prayers. Please designate gifts as "Haiti - Earthquake Fund".
Holt International: Working with
Holt Fontana Village. Holt reports that the buildings received little damage, but that the children are in great distress. Holt is asking for financial assistance for the children and will also be offering assistance to the community.
Dillon International: Children are all fine, but disrupted. Many people are moving through the area where the orphanage and hospital are located, which is scaring the children. Some flooding within one building has
occurred. Greatest need: Gasoline for the generators and ongoing food/water supplies.
God's Littlest Angels: An orphanage in Haiti. All children fine, but 90 children sleeping outdoors as building damage is assessed. Children are upset and caretakers doing their best to gather supplies to provide for all needs.
Foyer de Sion - This is an orphanage with approximately 225 children in their care in the Port-au-Prince area. They are reporting today that all children are accounted for. One of the three locations was destroyed, but again, all children are safe. They are currently working to bring the children from the destroyed location to one of the other two standing, one in Fontamara and the other in Petionville. The Leogone location was destroyed. We still do not know if they have necessary supplies (food/water) and adequate medical care. Please consider donating to their earthquake fund.
Le Foyer des Filles de Dieu: Home to about 70 girls, located in Port-au-Prince. Confirmed that three girls age 18 have died in the earthquake. These girls were not residents, as reported by many news organizations. One was the daughter of a staff member, and the other two were her friends. The orphanage has sustained damage and the children are in great need of clean water and food. We are unable to find a confirmed donation website for this charity...there appear to be more than one orphanage with this name.
Maison des Enfants de Dieu, in Port-au-Prince: We have received news that on the evening of the 17th, 30 UN soldiers have reached the orphanage with medical care for the babies. The Red Cross has delivered needed aid. This orphanage is actively working to unite the children who are cleared for adoption with their families in the US.
BRESMA: 150 orphans in Port-au-Prince. You may have seen the 2 American sisters on CNN who run this orphanage. Today's report is that 5 orphans have traveled to the US (see news below). The
situation is dire. Although some aid has reached the compound, the Haitian community is now camping out near the gates of the orphanage, ready to take any further aid for themselves. Their greatest need is security to guard the children and so that food and clean water may reach them.
1/18/10, 9AM Central: Many orphanage directors are reporting in that they are desperately trying to cobble together the full paperwork on each child in their care. Many children were in the process of being adopted (to US families and families in other countries). With the possibility of US Visas being issued to these children, it has become a priority to gather this documentation. Unfortunately, much paperwork has been lost due to orphanage/office collapse, and due to the justice building in Haiti collapsing. Shannon Hoffman of Angel House Orphanage emailed this update: "23 of our 26 orphans were in the process of being adopted at the time of the earthquake.
Some already legally have their American last names, and are in the last few steps of the process.
The Department of Homeland Security and the State Department have to change rules or make special exceptions for these kids to get them into the country. Most if not all of the adoption files have been lost in the earthquake. Many of the adoption case workers and attorneys have either been killed or severely injured."
1/17/10 We have news that the USCIS and DOS, who are offering expedited visas to children whose
adoptions are complete, have brought in the first group of 5 children. Children are from the BRESMA orphanage. We await further confirmation of these children's arrival. It should be noted that the BRESMA orphanage places children with adoptive families in the USA and in Holland and France. We have no news on the children with families in Holland and France.
We will be adding to this list as more information on reputable organizations and updates on specific orphanages is received. If you have information to share, please contact Martha@RainbowKids.com. Your compassion is gratefully received by the orphans of Haiti.