To change lives in Haiti through education and family empowerment. To create hope through the love of Jesus Christ.
That Despinos, Haiti would become…
A community where children are empowered through the love of Jesus Christ, accessible education, and supported families.
Imagine Missions formed in 2011 to support a pre-existing orphanage of about 100 children. Most children in the orphanage were poverty orphans, given up by families who could not afford them.
Upon the formation of Imagine Missions, many changes were made to improve life in the orphanage and beyond. Before, children were not supported in their education past 6th grade (at the small primary school on the grounds). Today, Imagine offers free, high-quality primary and secondary education to 480 students. There was no support for children 'aging out' of the orphanage at 18 - but Imagine worked to support those youth to finish their educations for long-term success. Nutrition was improved, beach trips and summer camps were started, and visitors spent time with the children and worked hard improving the grounds and facilities.
Yet efforts to improve orphanage life were not enough to provide the children with what they need - family connection. When asked about his mama in 2019, one eight-year-old said, "Every day I want to see her!" To protect them from risks of institutional living shown in research and move towards what is best for them, Imagine decided to reunite children with their families in 2019 - 2020.
Imagine Missions strives to facilitate long-term success of these families, so that through social work and educational support, families become self-sustaining and children grow up thriving in the love of family.
Imagine Missions has partnered with Haiti Mama, an organization that specializes in the reunification and strengthening of families in Haiti. Imagine and Haiti Mama's social workers work together to assess housing, medical, nutritional, and employment needs of the families of the 40 minors and ~30 young adults now living with their families. They visit families regularly to facilitate family bonding and ensure child safety.
11 children from the orphanage were unable to be reunified with biological family. Imagine will set these children up in foster families of two to four children living with a mommy in homes in Despinos.
"I am happy to be with my family. I had a lot of family I didn’t know before. My mama introduced me to them. They were happy to see me, appreciated me, and have shown me affection. Imagine did give me many things I need too - school, books, uniforms. Imagine has given me everything needed so that my mama can help me."
-Estephanie, age 13
Children living at Imagine Missions orphanage have attended church and been taught about the love of Jesus. We believe that children and youth who experience the love and connection of their families will be better able to understand the personal love of God as a Father. Imagine Missions will continue to share the love of Jesus with children and their families in the community of Despinos and beyond.
Unfortunately, the quality of many schools is unregulated in Haiti. We follow national standards to offer free high-quality, accredited education that has gained a strong, favorable reputation. Parents line up hours ahead of time each July when we hold registration for the upcoming school year.
“It’s generally agreed that Imagine Missions has some of the best education in Haiti. We have a bigger impact, and a really good education here. We have really good teachers who provide great training, which allows our students today to be prepared for their futures tomorrow.”
- Ricardo, Principal
Ways our school is different:
earlier French and English teaching
specials such as gym and music class
higher standards for passing