Educational programs at Maison Fortune Orphanage are preparing the future leaders of Haiti! I was amazed at the success rate of the students and their strong love of learning. Students work under street lights at night and get up at 4 am to study. Their diligence resulted in many of the students being eligible for university. This is a rare accomplishment in Haiti. The challenge is to be able to fund those students who are eligible. It is extremely difficult to have to tell a young adult who has worked so hard, that their dream of university is not possible.
Review from Guidestar
Visiting Maison Fortune was a life-changing experience. I expected to see sadness and despair, but what I experienced was a loving, sharing environment where children and caregivers were much more like family. Older children assisted the younger children and engaged in positive interactions such as reading to them, playing games, or just putting their arm around them with an encouraging hug. I was also amazed at how these children love school and the chance to be educated. In a country where a university education is reserved for very few, these children are studying hard, passing exams, and becoming eligible to attend university. This is truly a remarkable place.
After learning about this organization I had the opportunity to visit last year. Two things struck me: 1) Everyone involved with the Orphange and Foundation were very open and answered every question and concern. 2) The work that they are doing for the Children in Haiti is truly remarkable. The children were healthy and very happy. Each child understood the importance of family and education.
About nine months later I was able to return for a second visit and was just as impressed as I had been on my first visit. They are very consistant in the care and love they give to the children. This is a model organization that should be replicated.
I have been visiting Maison Fortune Orphanage in Hinche, Haiti for the past ten years, having made about seven or eight trips to Haiti with groups from the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, VA. I have grown to LOVE the children there and have the deepest respect and awe for both the staff that runs the orphanage in Hinche as well as the volunteers that compose the MFO Foundation in Chesapeake, VA.
I have sponsored a member of the orphanage and have been active in soliciting and donating the food and supplies that are so needed.
Maison Fortune has earned my highest respect for their mission. My family prays for htem every day!
The Luten Family Tallahassee, Florida
My association with the Maison Fortune Orphanage in Hinche, Haiti dates back to 2002. From August 2002 to August 2003 I served as a volunteer at the Maison Fortune Orphanage helping the director, Lefort Jean-Louis, in various capacities and as a member of the Xaverian Brothers Volunteer Program. I have been back to visit 4 times after my year of service. My most recent trip was July 2010. The progress I have been a witness to during my almost decade long relationship with the orphanage is astounding. Lefort Jean-Louis is highly effective director who has a great vision of the quality of life the children at the orphanage deserve. The Foundation Board in Virgina has met all the challenges presented to them and are unquestionably committed to the mission of Maison Fortune Orphanage. In ten years time, the orphanage has gone from a big project being a perimeter security wall to a big project now being a brand new and premiere secondary technical school for vocational and apprenticeship training. This is quite a transformation. I am excited for the next 10 years in front of Maison Fortune Orphanage.
Review from Guidestar
As a recent first time visitor to Maison Fortune Orphanage during Easter Break, I left with the visions of beautiful smiles en-grained in my mind. My heart was overflowing with the love and the joy that each child so generously offered.
I don’t think that you can visit the children and not take back a desire to spread the word about what an amazing place MFO is for them. With this being my first visit to Haiti and to MFO, I wasuncertain as to what my journey would hold. Humbling isn’t even the best word to describe the experience and here is why….
During the week I was there, I never once saw a child use a cross word or display an unkind gesture. Instead, you saw the older boys holding the hands of the younger ones. The girls braided each others hair in the late afternoon. Informal study groups formed as early as 6am. Soccer matches seemed endless and full of laughter and great sportsmanship.
As a Mother, I was overwhelmed with the loving hearts that each child displayed towards one another. Sharing isn’t an option; it’s just a way of life. The boys silently take turns during a game of checkers as they rotate spots in an unspoken language. They play with little rocks vs. big stones and will eagerly teach you, to ensure that you make the best strategic move possible. They, too, find the join in teaching as well as learning.
With minimal toys around, the children seem to divulge themselves in conversation with visitors and each other. Their curiosity is endless. The questions they pose show just how bright they are and how their diligent study habits have benefited them. They are constantly carrying their notebooks and jotting down questions to ask, things to remember, and so on. I benefited from the children teaching us Creole, as we helped to sharpen their English skills.
The littlest ones enjoyed a snuggle and a giggle along with silly games of “fast hands”. A daily mid afternoon dice game of “Left, Right, Center” became a hit in the Library with children of all ages. And at the request of some of the soccer players, I held a 6am soccer clinic reviewing some of the formalities of the game.
I left MFO with hundreds of new friends. I also left wondering how soon I could return!! As the children refer to each other as “My brother in my heart”, I left with the sentiment, “My child in my heart”.
I am eager to return to Maison Fortune Orphanage. In the meantime, I know that my financial donations are the best way I can help from home.
Review from Guidestar
I have been involved in numerous ways with the Maison Fortune Orphanage in Hinche, Haiti for the last ten years. I lived near the orphanage for one year and have now been back to visit there at least six times since 2003. Everything at the orphanage, from who the director allows to live there to how the children are bathed and learn to brush their teeth, is executed with compassion, discipline, and a guiding principle that the children of Haiti truly will embody the future of the country. The orphanage children elect their own governance to make rules regarding behavior, how to clean the grounds, and what committees should deal with conflict. It has truly blossomed since its inception in February 2000, and continues to strive to provide food, clothing, education, and practical life skills for children so they can leave and be productive members of society. The orphanage does not participate in adoptions because the director feels these children should stay in their home country to better society as a whole.
Review from Guidestar
I actually visited Maison Forturne Orphanage last year and was truly amazed at how it was run like a family. The children watched out for each other and obviously shared a great deal of affection. When one boy was taken to the hospital, his friends waited anxiously to hear how he was and took turns visiting him. I attribute this atmosphere to the director, Jean-Louis. He is a Haitian who came to the US to get a degree at Virginia Tech, then returned to serve his people. The children know that he cares from them deeply and they show him great respect and affection. Sort of similar to the way I treated my father. I knew that he loved me and I want to make him proud of me. It is amazing what has been accomplished at the orphanage and it is fantastic that over 98% of moneys donated go to the orphange.