Category Archives: Orphans and Children’s Homes

House of Hope Haiti: Joy Blooms Despite Challenges

tati Jen & her girls (Medium)
ER’s Jenny Reitz Compere serves on behalf of House of Hope, a Children’s Home in Northern Haiti that cares for up to 80 kids, many of whom are experiencing severe illness, emotional distress, abuse, neglect or abandonment upon their arrival. She shared these updates in recent blogs.
I am back from my trip to Haiti.  It was a wonderful time for all of us and as always ended too soon! I have many stories to share and hope to do that in bits and pieces over the next few weeks.
Of course, seeing my two girls just made my trip. We spent as much time as possible together over the weeks I was there. Every time we had a chance to hug Nannie (on the right) would tell me, “I’m not done with you yet” and the hug would go on for a while longer.
They are both doing really well though. Lala (on the left) is just a huge help to Linda with all of the younger kids. I’m so proud of both of them. Lala brings a seriousness of someone who knows the importance of bringing order out of chaos. Nannie comes along behind and brings an insatiable joy to every aspect of life.

Another highlight for me was finally getting to hold little Lyse.  What a precious little girl.  I was surprised to see how alert she was; she is a fighter and is just fighting for her life with all her might.  Here we are…

tati jen & lyse (Medium)Every day is touch-and-go for little Lyse as she can hardly go a week without needing a blood transfusion.  This makes each day stressful for her mom and dad as blood is not always easy to find.  They asked me to pass along their thank you to you all for keeping them in your prayers.

On my way into Haiti, I received a phone call from a friend in Miami who has a doctor friend who wants to see if he can help us help Lyse.  While we do not know if anything really can be done to help her complicated condition(s), we are so thrilled to have that possibility arise.  I was able to get all the information we needed to write a complete medical history for her.  We have sent it to the doctor and are just waiting for him to get back to us with his thoughts.  Please continue to remember this family.

Linda is busy in getting things together for the new school year. She has many uniforms to get made as well as decisions as to who should study in which school. One of our biggest needs as the start of the school year looms before us is the finances to pay the tuition, books and uniforms for the year. There are 50 students and the cost is $300/year to send them to school.

In addition, the hospital next door is asking us to pay off some of our debt. We have come to a place where we are really in need of your help at this moment. We have mentioned the financial struggle we have had off and on for the past couple of year.  We are so grateful for everyone one of you who has been a part of the House of Hope family over the years; whether it is through giving of your time or resources or your encouragement and prayers.

The past couple of weeks have been tough as we are receiving more and more pressure to pay off the debt to the hospital. It has been around for a long time and no matter how hard we have worked to reduce it, more expenses continue to be added to it.  The pressure to pay it has become more intense.
We realize not everyone is able to help us in a financial way. But if you are, would you please consider helping.

We appreciate you all and the various ways you help us bring hope to the children and youth of Haiti.  

Sign up for Jenny’s blog here. To donate, click here and designate your gift “House Of Hope Haiti”.

Let’s Celebrate! 20 Ways To Engage With ER This Year

ER Save the Date 20 Year Postcard

Having grown up in Ecuador and experiencing ER’s outreach to the poorest of the poor first-hand, Rheanna Cline created the following list to encourage everyone to celebrate 20 years of ER Christmas parties in the Quito Dump.

By Rheanna Lea Cline

Through the work of Extreme Response, thousands of people living in extreme situations are experiencing significant life change. With programs and partners in nine countries, ER provides many opportunities to get involved in our life-changing work with at-risk people. Here are a few of those opportunities:

  1. Tell your friends, coworkers, and family members about us.
  2. Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter and learn more about what we’re doing around the world at www.extremeresponse.org/newsletter-signup.
  3. Like us on Facebook.
  4. Join one of our Christmas Outreach Teams to bring hope to the hopeless during the holidays.
  5. Bring a few of your friends together to donate $100/month to Safe180 and help a girl rescued from human trafficking stay in a safe home.
  6. Check out our Changing Lives Blog to read more about the people impacted by our work.
  7. Become a coach in our Leadership Community to help encourage and inspire developing leaders.
  8. Donate to our Extreme Women initiative to help us provide education, counseling, intervention, nourishment, medical support, and job training for at-risk women.
  9. Gather a few friends from your church, school, or business to go on an Extreme Team volunteer trip.
  10. Consider joining our team as a Career Worker to use your skills and talents for one year or more to help the poor and vulnerable of the world.
  11. Give $20/month to provide for all of one boy’s needs for a year in our Manila Children’s Home.
  12. Host your own fundraising event, such as a car wash or bake sale, and send the funds through ER to ensure that those most in need benefit from your efforts.
  13. Follow us on Instagram.
  14. Host an informational event at your home with one of our leaders there to speak to your group.
  15. Shop through AmazonSmile and select ER as your designated charity to have 0.5% of all purchases automatically donated to us.
  16. Donate a few dollars a month to the Extreme Kids Scholarship Fund to cover the costs for a South African kid to attend and stay in school.
  17. Send your disaster relief donations to ER and directly impact people affected by the disaster.
  18. Donate $20/month to provide a Quito Dump Kid with lunch for a full month.
  19. Collect hygiene items and toys for our Christmas Parties around the world.
  20. Intern with us for a summer at one of our locations in South America, Africa or Asia.

For more information on any of these opportunities, please visit our website at www.extremeresponse.org or contact us by email at info@extremeresponse.org.

Lala and Nannie Thriving In House Of Hope Haiti

tati Jen & her girls (Medium)

Jenny Reitz-Compere is an ER staff member serving with House of Hope, a children’s home located in northern Haiti. House of Hope serves children who are abandoned, abused, neglected or orphaned. Many of the children suffer from severe illnesses. Here, Jenny shares her most recent report. Jenny hails from Canada and is supported through ER Canada.

I am back from my trip to Haiti.  It was a wonderful time for all of us and as always ended too soon. I have many stories to share and hope to do that in bits and pieces over the next few weeks.

Of course, seeing my two girls just made my trip and we spent as much time as possible together over the weeks I was there. Every time we had a chance to hug Nannie (on right) would tell me, “I’m not done with you yet” and the hug would go on for a while longer. They are both doing really well though, and Lala (on left) is just a huge help with all of the younger kids. I’m so proud of both of them. Lala brings a seriousness of someone who knows the importance of bringing order out of chaos, and Nannie comes along behind and brings an insatiable joy to every aspect of life.

tati jen & lyse (Medium)Another highlight for me was finally getting to hold little Lyse. What a precious little girl. I was surprised to see how alert she was; she is a fighter and is just fighting for her life with all her might.  Here we are…

Every day is touch and go for little Lyse as she can hardly go a week without needing a blood transfusion. This makes each day stressful for her mom and dad as blood is not always easy to find. They asked me to pass along their thank you to you all for keeping them in your prayers.

On my way into Haiti, I received a phone call from a friend in Miami who has a doctor friend who wants to see if he can help us help Lyse. While we do not know if anything really can be done to help her complicated conditions, we are so thrilled to have that possibility arise. I was able to get all the information we needed to write a complete medical history for her.  We have sent it to the doctor and are just waiting for him to get back to us with his thoughts. Please continue to remember this family.

We are already busy getting things together for the new school year. We have many uniforms to get made as well as decisions as to who should study in which school. One of our biggest needs as the start of the school year looms before us is the finances to pay the tuition, books and uniforms for the year.

We appreciate you all and the various ways you help us bring hope to the children and youth of Haiti.  Learn more about House of Hope here. Subscribe to Jenny’s blog here.

African Hope Trust Fulfills Cape Town Kids’ Need for Love

Alyssa Carrel recently returned from a brief stint as a volunteer with ER partner African Hope Trust. Here she details its work with vulnerable children and its plans to build a new safe house.

African Hope SafehouseMy time at African Hope Trust was brief, but oh how refreshing. I struggle to adequately describe what it felt like walking into the two African Hope Trust safe houses, but suffice to say, acceptance, love and peace were a big part of it. The women who run the homes aren’t devoid of struggle, but they all exude a sense of peace and quiet confidence.

Located in the South African township of Masiphumelele, just south of Cape Town, these homes are a safe haven for abandoned, orphaned and abused children. Each employs one to two trained house moms and provides a stable environment for five to seven kids.

Judging from a letter one of the children wrote for Mother’s Day, it’s evident that they know how much they are loved – even when discipline is involved. I couldn’t help laughing when I read, “Thank you for shouting at us in love so that we can understand that it is wrong.”

In addition to its work with kids, African Hope Trust cares for people in emergency circumstances. In the five years since it opened its doors, African Hope Trust has been able to address some 15 short-term emergency cases, such as relocating a child from an abusive uncle’s home. The Trust’s philosophy is while it cannot care for every child in need, it can love as many as possible.

Approximately 40,00 people reside in Masiphumelele, with 50% of them believed to be HIV positive. While anti-retroviral drugs are readily available and free of charge, many still live in fear of the stigma associated with HIV and AIDS, and therefore refuse to be tested or treated. Consequently, countless children are left to fend for themselves.

Before African Hope Trust began, only one orphanage existed in Masiphumelele, and it was created for older children. With African Hope Trust, a gap is being filled, at least in part, for younger children in need.

African Hope Trust now is seeking to build and open a third home in Masiphumelele, which would allow for the care of six more children. That would mean six fewer children living in extreme circumstances and wondering where their next meal will come from.

These children need someone to love them and African Hope Trust offers exactly that. The “mamas” care for the children as they do their own. In one of the children’s words, “They give me more love that I didn’t have before.” All these mamas want is a chance to love them – to show them a love that is greater than life. Listening to these kids, it’s evident they have succeeded.

Click here to learn more about African Trust and its plans for a new safe home. 

Forever Family Found For Two House Of Hope Girls In Haiti

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By Jenny Reitz Compere

ER’s Jenny Reitz Compere represents House of Hope in Haiti, a children’s home that cares for up to 80 kids who are orphaned, neglected or abandoned, many suffering from health issues. House of Hope is located in northern Haiti. In her most recent update, she shared this heart-warming cause for celebration.

CAM00948 (Medium)“Greetings to all our friends and supporters. Thank you so much for the prayers for our students who were writing the exams. They all feel they did pretty well — time will tell — now they just have to wait to get the results back, which will likely take a month or two.

“A couple of months ago, two of our lovely little girls found a forever family here in Haiti. Our pediatrician here at the hospital had a sister who wanted to adopt some children. Unable to have their own children, she asked her sister to watch out for some little girls who needed a home. She found two of our little girls, Rose and Julienne, who do not have homes to return to.

“They came up from Port-au-Prince to meet the girls and it was love at first sight! Now, the girls have joined their family and are fitting right in.  As you can see from the picture of Rose in their new home, they appear to be very happy.

House of Hope 2016“It doesn’t happen often (adoptions), but when it does we are thrilled to have our little ones find a family here in Haiti to adopt them. As you can imagine, it was an emotionally difficult day when they came to take the girls with them. Both girls have been with us since they were just a few months old. Yet we are thankful for more people in Haiti who are willing to love and care for these children and now we can receive others in their place.  We look forward to filling their beds again!

“Thanks for your support that helps us bring hope in so many different ways to the children and youth who come through our doors.”

Read more about House of Hope here, sign up for their blog here and make donations here.

ER Intern Captured by the Land and People of Her Heritage

By Allen Allnoch, ER Staff Writer

Tonya stands with members of IBIKE's 3 Wheel Ministry.
Tonya stands with members of IBIKE Ministries in Metro Manila.

Tonya Williams’ father always hoped that his children would one day visit the Philippines. His own father was from Turburan in the Cebu province, and he wanted Tonya to experience “The Land of our People,” as he called it.

Santos Talaugon passed away in 2001, but his daughter has fulfilled his wish twice over, including a two-week ER internship in February. And she hopes to again make the long trip from her home in Santa Maria, California.

“My father was very proud of his heritage,” Tonya recalls. “As I grew up, I remember all the stories he would tell about how his dad grew up in the beautiful land of Cebu. There was never any talk of hardship, poverty or anything negative about his homeland.”

Two of Tonya’s friends, Terri Ramos and Ruth Arteaga, introduced her to ER. After hearing ER Asia’s Joshua Benavidez speak during a visit to California in 2014, she joined the Manila Christmas Team, with whom she helped host six Christmas celebrations and serve more than 800 people.

“One of the bonuses is that I went on my first ER trip with my best friend [Ramos], to a place that would capture my heart,” she says.

Tonya is flanked by Lerma and Mackie Custodio of Youth Mobilization.
Tonya is flanked by Lerma and Mackie Custodio of Youth Mobilization.

The trip impacted her so much, she knew she had to spend more time in the Philippines. Her recent visit was based around Makati, one of 16 cities that make up Metro Manila. There she served with a handful of ER programs, partners and friends, including the Manila Children’s Home, the Golden Hands Livelihood Educational Program, Youth Mobilization, IBIKE Ministries and There Is Hope.

Tonya’s work ranged from assisting with various children’s programs to teaching ladies at Golden Hands how to sew aprons.

Tonya celebrated her birthday with members of the Golden Hands Livelihood Educational Program.
Tonya celebrated her birthday with members of the Golden Hands Livelihood Educational Program.

“This trip was different than the Christmas parties,” she notes. “I was directly involved with the day-to-day operations of each partner, and was able to connect with the team members on a personal level. It was truly a blessing to see each leader’s passion and heart for their communities, and to show love to all they come in contact with.”

She also attended ER Asia staff meetings and came away more impressed than ever with Joshua Benavidez and his wife, Ann. “They are strong leaders with a passion to raise up strong team members,” she says. “The respect from their team members is impressive. All of the staff at Asia ER is excellent at what they do. They strive to be better and have a passion to [impact] as many people as they can.”

Tonya came home filled with fond memories, such as the last day of her stay, when she finished out her assignment with IBIKE Ministries.

Tonya’s last day in Makati was capped by a memorable time with IBIKE Ministries.

“We were walking back to the office, blasting music and laughing and goofing off right in the middle of the day,” she says. “Then we finished the day with a home-cooked meal and all ate with our fingers. We had a great time, and although most of them did not understand a word I was saying, they all were so loving and welcoming to me, I felt like I was part of the family.”

Such memories and hospitality already have Tonya yearning for a return to “The Land of Our People.”

“I fell in love with the people, the land and the work,” she says. “Each time I go, I leave a little bit of my heart there. I have gained many friends and now have a connection that will last a lifetime. My father would be pleased.”

Does Tonya’s trip spark an interest in ER internships? If so, click here to learn how you can go and help make an impact in extreme circumstances.

Hope Breeds Hope…

NAPACOR VillageA Personal Note From Jerry Carnill, ER President & CEO

Dear Friends,

Have you ever been in a situation that appeared hopeless?

At ER, we intentionally interject ourselves into the lives of people who believe there is no hope for their future. For years, we have been privileged to bring help for today and hope for a better future to kids, moms and dads who couldn’t see any way out of their situations.

IMG_3301When we first stepped into the Quito Dump 18 years ago, we encountered hundreds of people living in the trash. Most were working very hard to provide for their families. But they longed for their children to have a better future.

For many of these parents, this dream has come true. The younger children who have attended our preschool are well prepared for primary school.

Hope breeds hope.

Michelle-1The older children who attend our after-school tutoring program are on their way to finishing high school. Moms are now attending a club designed to help them grow personally and as a parent.

Fathers are stepping up to care for their families with the encouragement of the ER staff. Parents have taken advantage of the opportunities provided by ER and their kids are thriving.

Hope breed hope.

IMG_20150729_134613534This new hope has helped 13 families scrimp and save enough money to buy small plots of land. Then, together with ER volunteers and staff, they built block homes with cement floors and roofs that don’t leak.

The world is full of hurting people who have no hope for their future. We have expanded our impact by placing staff members and outreach programs in Asia and Africa to allow us to bring them the same hope that Ecuadorians now enjoy.

Carnills with Masi kidsMany of you receiving this letter have volunteered with us. You may know Dawn and me or other ER staff members. You may even know some of the children we are reaching.

I’m writing to ask for your help. Many kids in our programs are more highly educated than their parents, but are stuck in poverty.

Imagine a child from the Dump community as an expert welder, working in an office or graduating from college. This is not hopeless fantasy. It is an attainable dream! It’s attainable because, with your help, ER can introduce these kids to opportunities that will fuel their hope and open the world to them.

Hope breeds hope.

8591d4e7-e7b5-4ac5-b029-b802c884b3bbWe need you to help the ER kids around the world break out of their extreme poverty. Would you please consider giving a financial gift before the end of this year as part of our matching funds campaign?

You will be helping us begin 2016 knowing we can bring hope for a better future to the dump families in Quito, the boys in our Children’s Home in Manila the kids in our after-school program in Cape Town, and ER partners working in 10 countries.

Together, we can bring life changing hope!

Jason-6P.S. Please click here to support our year-end matching fund drive.  All gifts received by Dec. 30, 2015,  are being matched dollar-for-dollar up to $145,000 by generous donors* A gift of any size will help! Watch this short video to learn more.

*Please note: Designated donations are applied toward those designated needs. Matching funds are applied to ER’s general fund in order to help meet needs around the world.


Jerry Carnill, Extreme Response

Jerry Carnill is President and CEO of Extreme Response International. He co-founded Extreme Response in 1997 following a visit to the Zambiza Dump in Quito, Ecuador. Today, ER operates humanitarian outreach programs in Quito, Manila and Cape Town, as well as formal relationships with 30 humanitarian partners serving the poor in Africa, Asia and the Americas. Contact Jerry at jcarnill@extremeresponse.org.

A Big Brother in Any Language

Jason-6By Allen Allnoch

Manila, Philippines is a long way from Fair Oaks, California, and the Tagalog language common to Manila is, well, quite foreign to an American like Jason Chappell.

Jason only recently arrived from Fair Oaks as a new staffer at ER’s Manila Children Home, but he’s already learned one important term.

“The main thing I am to these boys is kuya, which is a term here that means ‘older brother,’ says Jason. “This one thing has been the best thing I could ask for – I have ten younger brothers! As the baby of my family, I would have loved to have a younger brother, and now I have ten.”

Jason-7Jason’s move to Manila grew out of a series of short-term trips through ER. The first was in 2008, when he helped a team from his church, Sunrise Community, serve at ER’s Christmas Celebrations.

Right away he sensed a stirring to return, and he went back again in 2010 and 2012. After that third trip, he set his sights on serving long-term with ER and began raising support funds over the next 2-½ years.

Now he’s living in Manila, working part-time in the Extreme Response Asia Children’s Home and going to language school full-time, which ultimately will help him serve more effectively in the home.

“Without knowing the language, I have found it is almost impossible to tell the kids what they should be doing or not doing,” Jason says

Jason-3Still, some things transcend language. In his first three months, he says, he has served as “a nurse for scratches, a chair and jungle gym for the boys, a tutor in math and a teacher of chess.”

He’s also volunteering with a local ER partner that works with children in poor communities.

“Seeing the staff show love to these children, and being a part of it all, has been another highlight of my first three months here,” he says. “Each time I am able to go see the kids, I am able to speak more in their language, and it means so much to me and them to have that connection.”

Connection … relationship … personal touch … kuya. Those are the kind of things that help ER so effectively serve people in extreme circumstances. Even in a country that’s still largely unfamiliar to him, Jason Chappell is excelling at just that.

ER offers a number of ways to serve, both short-term and long-term, and from home or abroad. Visit extremeresponse.org/take-action/serve-with-us to learn more.

Paul Cripps: Faithful Leader, Lover of People, Life-Changer

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By Tim Fausch, ER Communications

There are many ways to measure the value of one’s life on earth, but perhaps the greatest is to consider the lasting impact he or she has on those they encounter.

Aranas | Photography2014-10Paul Cripps, co-founder of ER Canada with his best friend and wife Linda, was someone who had a life-changing impact on the people he touched. Soft-spoken, thoughtful and selfless, Paul was a friend and encourager to people wherever they were in their life journey. And when he met people who were poor, sick, uneducated, abused, abandoned or oppressed, he showed them deep compassion and love.

Consider these words from Paul, shared on an ER video:

“I have had the privilege of spending time in all three of our regions and have witnessed first hand many stories of changed lives. There is nothing more impactful than spending time in a squatter village, or picking up a street kid in need of a hug.”

ER CEO Jerry Carnill shared Paul’s willingness to battle through obstacles in order to serve others:

Paul & Linda“Paul  set an example for all of us on many levels. He loved his wife, kids and grandkids with all of his heart, yet he also set aside personal comforts to help people in extreme situations. During the past several months Paul served others in extreme heat, with very little sleep while living with physical pain due to sickness. His legacy will live on through the lives of people across the globe.”

Paul did much more than show compassion. He and Linda turned their concern for others into a life mission. They focused everything they had on helping people in very tangible ways.

Russ Cline, ER’s Chief Advancement Officer, recently profiled Paul and Linda’s strategic use of their time and resources in the Leader Mundial eNewsletter:

_DSC1771“But the biggest thing they have leveraged has been their lives. Not only do they serve the staff, partners and ER family around the world, but they have invested their lives in relationship. They have visited, they have served, they have helped set vision, they have coached, they have explored, they have listened, they have come alongside so many of us (I speak for many) and just helped us to do better.”  Read Russ’ blog here.

 

DSC_0169Paul impacted people around the world, including many ER partners who are on the front lines working to help people living in distress. Pierre Rioux,  Director of ATAIM, an ER partner that serves indigent people in South Africa, shared this:

“Paul’s approach to life was a huge example to me. He always put others first, in spite of how he felt physically. He never wanted people to know he was suffering. Paul was a true leader that I plan to imitate. I hope I can be half the leader he was.”

IMG_1308ER’s Asia Region Director, Joshua Benavidez, shared this regarding Paul:

“A big guy with a big heart. Thank you Paul for everything you have done for us and the people whom we love so much, especially the kids. You will be greatly missed. You will always be in our hearts.”

Paul and ER Canada were big supporters of the programs in Haiti run by ER partners Lemuel and House of Hope. This Facebook post by the folks at Lemuel captured Paul and Linda’s impact in Haiti:

“Paul Cripps was known and loved by all of us. He had a genuinely compassionate, servant’s heart and we are grateful for all the ways in which he touched our lives and served Lemuel through ER Canada.”

Aranas | Photography2014-10Paul and Linda led volunteer teams to help at-risk people around the globe, introducing hundreds to the concept of serving others cross-culturally. Paul was tireless in his dedication, working long hours at their auto dealership only to come home and work just as hard for ER Canada.

Led by his strong faith, Paul strived to bring hope to the hopeless. Those who knew him would say, “Well done faithful servant, well done.”

Author’s note. It’s rare when you meet people you immediately love and trust. That’s what took place when my wife Deb and I first met Paul and Linda. We saw their character, compassion, selflessness, generosity and willingness to sacrifice and we were inspired. We wanted to be more like them…and still do. Thank you Paul and Linda for living lives that are authentic, and for helping show the way.

The notice below was published by the Jason Smith Funeral Chapel and provides details on Paul’s family and life.

CRIPPS, Paul Kenneth (1959 – 2015) – surrounded by his loving family and promoted to the arms of his Lord & Saviour, at the Norfolk General Hospital on Sunday, September 20th, 2015 in his 57th year.  Cherished husband and best friend of Linda Cripps (nee Armstrong) of Simcoe.  Loving father & grandfather of Nicole La Porte (Aaron) of Waterford, their sons Jacob & Evan;  and David Cripps (Angel) of Simcoe, their son Benjamin.  Beloved son of Ronald Cripps (late Violet) of Simcoe.  Paul will be lovingly remembered by his brother Carl Cripps (Lenny) of Caronport, Saskatchewan, their children Daniel, Samuel & Deborah.  Dearly loved son-in-law of Elsa Armstrong (late Lawrence).  Together Paul & Linda own and operate Aitken Chevrolet Buick GMC.  Always a passion for serving others, Paul served as Chair, Vice Chair & Past Chair of the Norfolk General Hospital Foundation Board, was a member of the Simcoe Gospel Chapel and was the Canadian Founder & Director of Extreme Response Canada, a charity organization committed to changing the lives of people by providing humanitarian aid to those living in extreme, often life-threatening, poverty stricken situations.  Friends are invited to share their memories of Paul with his family at the JASON SMITH FUNERAL CHAPEL, 689 Norfolk St. North Simcoe for visitation on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015 from 2-4 & 7-9 p.m. and again on Wednesday morning from 10:00 – 10:45 a.m. at the Simcoe Gospel Chapel, Hwy#3 East Simcoe.  Paul’s home going service will be held in the church sanctuary at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Martin Brown officiating.  Interment:  Oakwood Cemetery, Simcoe.  In lieu of flowers, those wishing to donate in memory of Paul are asked to consider Extreme Response Canada.  Personal online condolences at www.smithfuneralchapel.com (519) 426-0199.

Abandoned 18 Years Ago, How Is Alex Doing Today?

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Alex and his Dad Any Brooke.

House of Hope Director of Development and ER staff member Jenny Reitz Compère, shared this story in her July newsletter. It tells the journey of Alex, a young boy who came to House of Hope under dire circumstances. Located in the town of LaPointe on Haiti’s north coast, House of Hope serves children who are orphaned, abandoned, abused or neglected. 

By Jenny Reitz Compère

Last month, ER partner House of Hope (HOH) was pleased to have our friends from the Hands of Hope organization in the United Kingdom (UK) visit. They have supported the HOH in many ways over the years, but the link we have with them that means the most to both of us is a young man — their son Alex.

kevAlex was an extremely sick nine-month-old boy, who had recently lost his mom and been abandoned by his dad, when he made his appearance at the HOH. Our friends from England, Andy and Carol Brooke, were visiting when Alex first came on the scene. God spoke to their hearts about this precious life, and soon they were knee deep in adoption plans and regulations. It was a terribly long and exhausting six-year process as they waded through all the legal work to make Alex (or Kev — for those of you who remember him from the late 1990s) a part of their family.

Alex has grown into an incredible young man. He finished his schooling in the United Kingdom and will be starting a three-year degree in Product Design at Swansea University in the fall. Alex’s mom and dad (Andy and Carol) reflected on Alex’s journey to adulthood:

“Alex arrived in the UK two weeks before his fifth birthday, in August 2001. We were the first British couple to adopt from Haiti, which is why it took almost four years to complete the process. Alex is 18 now and waiting for his examination results in preparation for university. He’ll be 19 on September 8.

“He has developed into a fine young man and we are really very proud of him, but we will never forget that he had a great start with you (Jenny) and Linda (Felix, HOH Administrator). It was the best start he could have wished for, we reckon, despite his family circumstances. We believe you should be every bit as proud of him as we are. He is really looking forward to our trip to Haiti.”

Their visit was a great time of catching up and relationship building between Alex and the current kids at HOH.  He made an effort to relearn some of his Creole, and in exchange, he taught our HOH boys to play rugby!

While this story is unique because we don’t often do adoptions out of the HOH, we are thankful it was an option for the Brooke family.  We are sharing it to encourage you and your partnership with us in this special work we do of caring for kids who have no other options. HOH has been changing lives just like Alex’s since 1956 and we couldn’t do it if it wasn’t for the support that you give us in so many ways.  Thank you for your help!

Read more about House of Hope here. Subscribe to Jenny’s blog: http://houseofhopehaiti.blogspot.com/.