What is myLIFEspeaks?
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myLIFEspeaks will STRENGTHEN FAMILIES by empowering them to live LIFE.
FAMILY means so much more than mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers. In other words, FAMILY isn’t just about people who are related. Haiti has taught us that FAMILY can be everyone around us—the people who share the same LIFE and circumstances. Our faith teaches us that our FAMILY is comprised of people who look like us and those who look nothing like us.
To SPEAK UP for someone else means choosing to move from merely observing a situation to participating in the solution. Our goal is to help people in the United States and around the globe understand the desperate situation Haitians are in, and allow them the opportunity to help bring awareness and be a part of changing the Haitian culture.
SOMETHING BIGGER than yourself is a simple concept that we are committed to being a part of. We know the benefits of choosing to live as if we are not the only people on the planet. We know first-hand the joy that comes from helping someone around the globe as well as across the street. Our goal is to help people see that LIFE on this planet does not revolve around us…and never will.
myLIFEspeaks exists to SPEAK UP for those who can’t SPEAK for themselves while allowing people in the United States and around the globe the opportunity to be a part of something BIGGER than themselves.
Outline of Problem
With a population of over 9 million, Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Haiti currently has almost 500,000 orphans. Recent estimates have indicated over 50% of the population is under the age of 15; 80% of the country is unemployed; and almost 50% are illiterate. In a society with such staggering poverty, children with special needs are often overlooked completely. myLIFEspeaks seeks to 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.
The aim of myLIFEspeaks is to transform the lives of Haiti’s orphans one by one. myLIFEspeaks was founded by a couple whose family resembles the vision for the children who will live on the myLIFEspeaks campus. Together Mike and Missy Wilson are raising two typical biological sons Dyllan, 15 and Eli 11, as well as Lane, 14, who has severe special needs. They also have an older adopted daughter Katie, 23, who joined their family in 2004 and two adopted Haitian daughters Tia, 7 and Naika, 9. Through their own LIFE experiences, myLIFEspeaks founders Mike and Missy Wilson have seen the impact of typical children and special needs children growing up together. myLIFEspeaks will open its first home in Haiti at a rental facility in January 2012. At least two (but up to four) of the eight children inducted into the home will have special needs.
In addition to transforming the lives of orphans on the myLIFEspeaks campus, myLIFEspeaks also seeks to radically affect the Haitian community in which the organization works by offering community events, education, and LIFE-skills free of charge to those in the community.
Qualifications of myLIFEspeaks
myLIFEspeaks was founded by Mike and Missy Wilson who have been working in Haiti since 2003. They have led short-term mission teams since 2005. Their 23-year-old daughter, Katie, joined their efforts in Haiti in 2010. Katie has served as an assistant in a Haitian crèche as well as the discipline coordinator for a special needs orphanage in Haiti. Katie lives in Haiti and will be the on-site director for the initial myLIFEspeaks projects while Mike and Missy work to bring awareness and raise funds for the efforts myLIFEspeaks undertakes in Haiti and around the globe.
The first step is to secure enough support for an initial six month “runway” for myLIFEspeaks to get off the ground and begin work in Haiti. With this funding in place, myLIFEspeaks will be able to aggressively move toward the goal of impacting the lives of orphans in Haiti.
The myLIFEspeaks rental facility initial launch will be in January 2012. Katie Erie began living there November 1, 2011. Projects will take place in and around the location to prepare for the initial induction of children that is set to take place March 2012. After the initial repair and renovation projects are complete, the next step is to locate land and begin the purchase process for a permanent facility in Haiti.
Tangible and Intangible Benefits
myLIFEspeaks will benefit the people of Haiti by attempting to improve Haiti by investing in one life at a time. Those supporting myLIFEspeaks in the United States will benefit through having the opportunity to invest in something bigger than themselves.