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NEWS & EVENTS

Pasta for a Purpose

As the situation in Haiti gets worse each day, we pray for the many families in Haiti who do not have enough to eat.  Fortunately the children of HELO are still able to enjoy three meals a day, but prices continue to skyrocket due to scarcity of everything from food to toothpaste and toilet paper. 

 

In an effort to keep up with the soaring food prices, we will be holding some fundraising dinners.  If you are in the area, please join us at the Gilead Congregational Church, 672 Gilead Street in Hebron, CT on April 20 starting at 5:00 p.m.  For only $20 you will enjoy a delicious buffet of various pastas, salad, bread, and some yummy desserts. 

 

Please come out to Pasta for a Purpose and support our beautiful children, learn more about our programs, and laugh and have a good time. 

 

If you are unable to attend but wish to donate, please click the link below.  Thank you so much for your support!

We look back at 2023 with gratitude for all of your support during a very challenging year.  Despite the unrest in Haiti, our children have been not only safe but flourishing.  Our challenges have been great, from getting necessary supplies for daily living and building projects, to keeping up with skyrocketing prices.  Thanks to your support throughout the year, we met those challenges.  As we put 2023 behind us, it is important to say thank you!

 

Pictured above are some of our achievements in 2023 -- a beautiful new elementary school on the top of that list!  Our students and teachers are so happy and proud of their new school!  Below the photo of the school is Sebastien, laureate of his 9th grade class, 100% of which passed their State exams!  We are so proud of Sebastien and his classmates.  In addition, our school's Philo class had the highest percentage of students passing their exams for the entire Southern district.  Our high school also excelled in athletics, winning many soccer matches and the district-wide championship (middle left).  Our students are indeed proud of their school!  We thank you for supporting our schools and making these accomplishments possible.  

 

Also highlighted in the photos are some of our vocational programs.  Our vocational school was expanded this year to a full-time program offering courses in sewing (fashion design), ceramic tile, computers, plumbing, electricity and cosmetology and hairdressing.  Pictured in the second row center photo are students in our electricity course.  Our first graduates will be honored this coming week, receiving their certificates of completion/competence so that they can begin to work in their desired fields.  More to follow on that graduation!  Our agriculture program was also expanded in 2023, adding a poultry program, with Ronaldo overseeing the hen house.  Pictured top left is Sodlyn showing a flat of (24) eggs from our own hens (which greatly helps us with our food budget, especially because eggs have been hard to find), and middle right are baby chicks raised by our boys.  We also have rabbits (bottom center), goats and sheep.  Ronaldo works with the younger boys teaching them to care for the animals and raise offspring.  Our gardens are also growing (bottom left), Ronaldo is working with some of the boys teaching them to plant many vegetables and to cultivate trees to provide much needed vegetables and fruits for the orphanage and to sell.  Ronaldo is a very talented agronomist and we are fortunate to have his skills but also his willingness to teach others. 

 

We also have programs in the arts -- music, photography, dance and film making.  Several of our teens have beautiful music videos on YouTube, and Kendy's latest film (top center photo) was featured at our annual gala and has been entered in several film festivals.  

 

2023 has been a challenging but very rewarding year for us at HELO, and we take this moment to say thank you for your support that made it all possible.  We wish you a very safe and happy New Year!

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Tragic Earthquake Hits Southern Haiti

A 7.2 earthquake hit Haiti on Saturday, August 14, causing extensive damage, injuries and death throughout the southern peninsula of Haiti.  Unlike the 2010 earthquake, this one was centered much closer to les Cayes (Haiti's third largest city).  HELO sustained structural damage to several buildings, including our transitional home and all three schools.  Thankfully only one injury, which is not serious.  Berlin fell while fleeing the collapsing building, sustaining a dislocated shoulder and many lacerations and bruises.  We are still assessing the structural damage so do not yet have an idea of the cost to repair and rebuild.  Our priorities this past week have been to safeguard the children, who are too traumatized to sleep indoors.  Aftershocks continue, but we were finally able to convince them to sleep in the church building (tin roof) amidst the heavy rain and wind from Tropical Storm Grace.  We have 24 hour security on campus to protect the children, staff and property during this crisis.  

The community of Laborde, where HELO is located, is heavily impacted and many families have lost everything.  Nearly everyone is sleeping outside under the stars -- or sadly under the rainfall, some out of fear but many do not have a choice.  Our children will assist in distributing food to help our neighbors in need.  

If you are able to help, please donate.  Funds raised will help us rebuild, get needed food, drinking water, and other supplies, and do our best to help our neighbors.  We sincerely thank everyone who has already donated and especially thank everyone for their prayers.  Your support is appreciated more than words can express.  To quote a Haitian proverb, "Men anpil fe chay pa lou."  Many hands lighten the load.  Mesi!  Thank you!

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