To change lives in Haiti through job creation 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, job creation, 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), and only one meal and one snack per day were provided to each child. 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. Imagine was offering 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. Unfortunately, due to rising prices in Haiti and budgetary constraints. We were not able to remain open for the 2021-2022 school year. It is our hope that in the near future we will be able to reopen the doors of the school and have all of those kids back inside the school getting free-quality education.
All of our efforts to improve orphanage life were not enough to provide the children with what they needed - 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. When we made this change we promised families that we would help them get on their feet and learn how to be families, and in 2022 we’ve decided to make good on that promise and try to help those families be true families who can love each other without the stress of having to worry about where their next meal is going to come from.
Imagine Missions strives to facilitate long-term success of these families, so that through social work and job creation, families become self-sustaining, and children grow up thriving in the love of family.
In 2019, 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 worked 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 visited families regularly to facilitate family bonding and ensure child safety. We spent a lot of time working with and learning from Haiti Mama and continue to use them as a resource in our endeavors; we are eternally grateful for Haiti Mama’s support during a difficult transition time for Imagine Missions.
At this time, we are no longer in contract with Haiti Mama and instead rely on our social worker, Exilien, and his assistant, Claudner, to keep up with our families we reunited. They have been doing a wonderful job of making sure that each one of our families have what they need and making those needs known to our executive director if they don’t.
"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.
We have worked hard through our partnership with Haiti Mama to make sure that we are doing the very best we can to help each of our families. We found through that partnership an organization call Middle Ground Haiti. They offer business classes to parents whose children have graduated from their programs. Topics covered include:
profit and loss
money for living
money management and recording keeping
Our social workers were blessed to be trained on the program and are willing to work with our parents to partner with them through the classes. Once parents complete the classes, they will be eligible for for a small business loan from Imagine Missions. This is a support loan that is given based upon business needs, and other factors. If you would like more information on middle ground Haiti that can be found here: Middle Ground Haiti. We are excited to see what the future holds for our amazing families.