Elisabeth Kennedy had been working in Haiti for years and met Pastor Jean Phares Beaucejour in March of 2006 on a medical mission. Throughout the next year, the two became aware of their mutual prayer to bring hope and opportunity to Haiti's children and forged this partnership, co-founding HELO in June 2007. Pastor Jean Phares Beaucejour handles HELO’s work in Haiti, Elisabeth handles the work in the USA, and both travel periodically to work together in each country.
HELO’s first home opened in November 2007, renting a home in Laborde with wonderful house parents, cook and a teacher. Children were taught at the house, and we soon saw proof that Home Education Love and Opportunity can change the life of a child.
In April 2009 a beautiful partial of land was purchased and our dreams continued to unfold by breaking ground for a school in September. A party was held in December 2009 to introduce HELO's vision to the community and to celebrate God’s blessings on our ministry.
The tragic earthquake in January put an abrupt end to our joy and celebration. In an effort to respond quickly to the cries of Haiti’s children, HELO began construction of a small home and brought tents to HELO’s property to immediately take in children orphaned by the earthquake. After searching for loving staff, house parents were hired and a second home opened in early February. We immediately started building a third home, and on July 1, 2010 took in an additional 12 children who had been on a waiting list since January. We again duplicated what we had seen work in the first home -- a loving home, three meals a day, and the opportunity to attend school with the other children of HELO.
An addition to HELO's school was completed in March 2012, and HELO opened its doors to community children who were otherwise unable to attend school. In May 2013, with a generous grant from Orphaned Starfish Foundation, a computer center was added to the school, bringing education to a new level. In 2015, thanks to very generous grant from a private foundation, we began construction of a secondary school on HELO's property. HELO currently provides a quality education to over 350 children from Preschool to 11th Grade. As students progress, we build additional classrooms to eventually teach through the completion of high school, with vocational classes offered in the afternoons, evenings, and summers.
In 2019, in response to the Haitian government's requirement that no child over the age of 18 reside on campus, HELO opened a transitional home so that those students over 18 have the opportunity to complete high school and transition to college or independent living. Some children are supported remotely so that they, too, can complete their education.
Due to another exciting partnership with Samasta Health Foundation, HELO has a nurse on staff who provides regular healthcare to our children through telemedicine with doctors in the United States. We are extremely grateful for these wonderful partnerships!
The first children with Manmi Elisabeth and houseparents Nene & Miriam in 2007
The first home in Laborde, Haiti in 2007.
HELO’s mission is to provide Home Education Love and Opportunity to orphaned and abandoned children in Haiti. We currently have three homes, each housing a family unit: adult caretakers and 12-15 children. Our dreams include elementary and vocational schools on site, providing the children of HELO a loving environment where they can learn to read and write and then learn a trade.
It is our hope and vision that in providing Haiti’s children a loving home, proper nutrition and education, our children will become self confident, self reliant adults who will leave HELO literate and with a trade to sustain themselves, that they grow to be leaders of their communities and in time, bring change and prosperity to their beautiful land.
Our dreams are great, but the need in Haiti is greater. HELO began with a prayer to save orphaned and abandoned children in Haiti, a prayer lifted up in both Haiti and the USA by two people who knew little of each other, but were led together by this common prayer. It is our prayer that God continue to use HELO to improve the lives of Haiti's children, one at a time.
WATCH AND LEARN THE STORY OF HELO FROM
HELO partners with the Orphaned Starfish Foundation ("OSF") to provide our children with access to technology education and vocational training. OSF operates a state-of-the-art technology center on-site at our facility with experienced computer teachers, which help prepare our students for university study and/or employment. Many thanks to OSF for their partnership and support!
HELO partners with Samasta Health Foundation ("Samasta") to provide our children access to regular and routine health care through telemedicine. Samasta operates a small clinic on-site and employs a Haitian nurse to work at HELO and care for our children. Many thanks to Samasta for their partnership and support!