As you may be aware, Haiti is experiencing significant difficulty. As we continue to look forward to family reunification with excitement, we ask that you join us in fervent prayer not only for this process, but for all of Haiti.
You may remember our last blog post sharing the way God has guided us towards family reunification. We can see that in Haiti and worldwide there is a shift in orphan care, as well as abundant research explaining why institutional settings can be harmful to children in their development, future chances of success, and understanding of love and belonging. Research also shows that there is a better way to set children up for success and to ultimately know the love of Jesus- to reunite them with family.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families (Psalm 68)
You may remember that when Melissa sat down with each of our children and asked one 8-year-old if he’d like to live with his mother, his face lit up as he responded, “Every day I want to see her.” You may also remember our youth over age 14 had the opportunity to visit their biological families for several weeks to reconnect this summer. Our Youth Empowerment Counselors Cara and Venelson also sat down with each of them in September to see how it went. Their responses and experiences were overwhelmingly positive.
It gives us great joy to announce that God has led us to partner with Haiti Mama, an organization that specializes in the reunification and strengthening of families in Haiti.
According to Tausha Pearson, founder and director of Haiti Mama:
“We work to reunite children with kin, rehabilitate impoverished parents, and restore broken family systems. Our services empower each client to meet their own individualized goals for sustaining themselves and their families. We are committed to ethical practices that show dignity to the people we serve. We work with the Haitian Government to reunite children in orphanages with their families. We empower two generations of each family through education + employment services to break the cycle of poverty. We've adapted a research-based, community social work model to function in congruency to the complexities of Haiti and employ Haitian social workers to provide culturally competent family services.”
Reunification will require preparing both the child and their family members. This takes strong social work preparation and follow-up with the Haiti Mama team to ensure the root cause of surrendering children to our orphanage is addressed. Having reunited 180+ Haitian children with family, Haiti Mama’s social workers are well-experienced in assessing housing, medical, nutritional, and employment needs of whole families. They also practice in ways that facilitate family bonding and safety upon a child’s homecoming. Together, Imagine Missions and Haiti Mama seek to ensure success in every way we can. For more information about Haiti Mama, see their website www.haitimama.org.
We continue to ask for your patience as we go about this change. Know that your donations right now will help support not only our elevated operating costs in light of Haiti’s ongoing economic crisis, but will ultimately assist us with the costs of increased services this process will temporarily require.
We are so fortunate to have a team like Haiti Mama that has committed to partnership and to the well-being of our kids and families long-term. Most importantly, we ask for your faith-filled prayer for our children and their families, and for all of Haiti.