IMG_4082wwwI created GO HAITI STRONG as a fundraising website, dedicated to buying property, building dorms, and developing programs for LITTLE FOOTPRINTS, BIG STEPS in Les Cayes – in the SW of Haiti. LFBS is a registered 501(c) (3) 98-1224282.

I’ll give you an overview, so you know how I got here. I had been doing aid work in Uganda and Kenya, but I went to Haiti 3-weeks after the earthquake in 2010, and it was worse than anything you can imagine. People wandering about, still in shock, rubble everywhere, men digging out bodies, mamas washing their children in dirty puddles, people begging for water, food, shelter & medical care. You’ve seen the pictures, but you couldn’t smell the rot, or sense the fear and despair.

Over the next five years I kept coming back to Haiti, four times a year, trying to figure out where I belonged, what it was I wanted to accomplish, and what was real. A lot of Americans come here & throw American solutions at Haitian problems, only to wonder why their programs fail. Many well-meaning people come here once, or even twice a year, with food or meds, and go home pleased with themselves, but if you feed 500 people on Tuesday, I’m pretty sure they’ll be hungry again by Thursday.

Something else I discovered, is that of the 32,000 children in the 760 licensed orphanages in Haiti, and no one knows the number of unlicensed neglectful and abusive orphanages or their inhabitants, about 80% of them have parents somewhere. Many kids left home to make it on their own and eliminate one mouth from their parent’s house – or tent. Many destitute parents handed over their kids to Haitians claiming to have American funded orphanages in the city, where they would educate & feed their children and give them a chance in life, but these people used the children as shills to “raise money for their starving children” that they totally neglected while they lined their own pockets. And don’t even get me started on the number of children sold into slavery….restaveks they are called here.

So I figured that, instead of building more orphanages, we should be trying to re-unite & support families, and in turn, communities to start making Haiti more self-sufficient and independent. At least, that’s what I wanted to do.

And then I found Morgan Wienberg, in Les Cayes…SW Haiti. She moved there at 18, in 2010, thinking she would take a gap year from school, but then she founded LFBS and never left.

For me, I have committed all the time and energy I have to supporting LFBS, and you can learn more about Morgan and LFBS when you click on ABOUT LITTLE FOOTPRINTS, BIG STEPS on the home page.