myLIFEspeaks has been working in Haiti since 2003. Since then, what we do in Haiti has grown into a laser focused effort. Beginning January 12, 2012, myLIFEspeaks will work to provide a family for typical and special needs orphans by providing a home with House Parents (a Dad and Mom) and an atmosphere where each child can learn from, love, and grow from their relationships with each other.
Haiti is a difficult place. Consider this:
- Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and has a population of over 9 million
- Recent estimates have indicated over 50% of the population is under the age of 15
- 80% of the country is unemployed
- Almost 50% of Haitians are illiterate
- Haiti currently has 490,000 orphans.
- Children with special needs are often overlooked in this already difficult society
- myLIFEspeaks desires to help provide the best quality of LIFE possible to orphans with and without special needs through providing safe housing, quality education, and the best possible medical care in a campus setting.
myLIFEspeaks founders, Mike and Missy Wilson began myLIFEspeaks in 2006, as a story of encouragement and a challenge to others, encouraging them to live their LIFE in a way that helps others. It began with the story of their son, Lane, born prematurely, diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy, blind, and seen as challenge by many; and has grown into a story of overcoming all odds and realizing others read your LIFE more than they listen to your words. This video is a quick look at where myLIFEspeaks began.
Mike and Missy began the process of helping children in Haiti with one little girl, Tia. They began their process of adopting Tia in January 2009. They began the process of adopting a second little girl, Naika, just days before the devastating earthquake hit Haiti. When the earthquake hit Haiti, January 12, 2010, both Mike and Missy knew they weren’t done helping children. They immediately thought bringing their girls home would be enough, but soon realized that was just the beginning of their long-term efforts in Haiti. While Mike and Missy began myLIFEspeaks as a way to help people deal with the burdens and problems of everyday LIFE, they quickly saw something bigger than either of them could have imagined. They used the story of their special needs son, Lane, to open many doors and one of those doors happened to be in their own home. myLIFEspeaks is purposefully based on the Wilson family dynamic. What they saw happen between their 3 biological sons, Dyllan, Lane, and Eli, and their adopted daughters, Katie, Tia, and Naika, convinced them they could help children in Haiti grow up to be different from previous generations. Children with special needs like Lane are often considered cursed by the VooDoo culture of Haiti, and many Haitian children with special needs are abandoned or placed out of sight of the community for fear of ridicule.
myLIFEspeaks desires to help ALL children in Haiti have dignity in LIFE by choosing to SPEAK UP for those who can’t speak for themselves. Involving people just like you in the lives of children in Haiti is what myLIFEspeaks is all about.