Updated: Nov 1, 2022
At myLIFEspeaks, we believe that children belong in families, not institutions. That is why we approach orphan care differently than most. We address the root issue head-on by empowering families, namely parents, so children don’t end up being relinquished to Haitian orphanages that use them for profit.
Our Family Empowerment programming provides crucial services and resources like quality and affordable healthcare, low-cost therapies, feeding and nutrition programs, Christian discipleship, family-based care for children, employment opportunities, commUNITY support, and much more. By empowering families, parents feel equipped and capable of caring for their children and won’t consider relinquishing them to misleading orphanages out of desperation.
In addition to empowering parents and providing resources so families can stay together, myLIFEspeaks also utilizes family-based care for children who truly have been orphaned or abandoned. In a country that lacks infrastructure and family services, we created a system similar to that of the American foster care system that works in conjunction with Haitian Child Services (IBESR) to better ensure that vulnerable children don't fall through the cracks.
myLIFEspeaks is NOT an orphanage.
We place orphaned and abandoned children, typically developing and special needs, in loving forever Haitian families supported financially, spiritually, and physically by myLIFEspeaks.
Our model of family-based care is intended to provide a nurturing, supportive, and inclusive environment for children and families. Family house parents and caregivers are trained and supported, working as a team with social workers, teachers, nannies, medical care providers, therapists, and other support staff at myLIFEspeaks. The special needs and typically developing children live fully integrated lives in their communities, attending church, school, and social functions together as any family would.
The Haitian government and Haitian Child Services (IBESR) are the ones who bring orphaned and abandoned children, many with special needs, to myLIFEspeaks. This is key because, in Haiti, 80% of children in orphanages aren't actually orphans. Most have at least one living relative nearby (Lumos 2018).
A major percentage of children in Haitian orphanages have been relinquished out of desperation or under false pretenses, not because they are actually orphans. Haitian Child Services makes sure that the children they do entrust to us are true orphans with no one else to care for them.
Currently, we have a total of six family homes and 27 children in our forever care; both typically developing and special needs. We have seen tremendous success and lives transformed through this family-based care model. It is beautiful to see how God is working in these families daily.
myLIFEspeaks is dedicated to providing the best care possible for the children in our care and the families who need our help. We are passionate about educating people about the challenges facing Haitian children and families, the dangers of financially supporting for-profit orphanages, and the best ways to truly help vulnerable children by supporting their families.
Meet the members of our six family homes, here.