Dear Ministry Partners,
In this newsletter we want to give you an overview of all our current ministries and report of some of the great things they accomplished for God’s Glory in 2015. While reading this, please remember that this wouldn’t have been possible without you!
Our current enrollment is 1,020 students and we employee over 65 people on a full and part-time basis. Last fall we added tenth grade, so our students can continue getting an education. These students will now have the opportunity to graduate high school from our school. Currently less than 5% of children in Haiti graduate high school. God willing, our plan is to build our 4th classroom building this summer to accommodate the high school. We are also praying about starting a computer lab. We believe two of the things that can really give our students better employment opportunities is computer skills and learning English. We continue to offer a basically free education with the parents paying a nominal fee to help cover the cost of the uniforms. Webert does a great job of having the parents and students be involved in work projects at and around the school in order for them to have pride and ownership in their school. We continue to offer a meal every day which is becoming more important because Haiti’s food insecurity is predicted to worsen because of draught and inflation. Our child sponsorship program is the main source of funds for the schools operating budget, which is currently $11,700 per month. We currently have 251 of the children sponsored and are praying for another 100 sponsorships this year.
Please consider talking to friends and family about joining our sponsorship program.
Tytoo Gardens Children’s Foundation
Touch of Hope became a partner of Tytoo in 2012 when they were in a severe financial crisis. Today we are responsible for approximately 2/3 of Tytoo’s monthly budget, with the remaining funds coming from the Ontario, Canada area. We will be initiating a new sponsorship program for Tytoo in the near future to help meet our monthly commitment of $8,500.
Tytoo operates the following programs:
Orphanage -There are currently 36 children living at Tytoo, ranging in age from 2 to 17. Taunya DeWeerd is our North American Director. Taunya, along with a Haitian Director, oversees the staff of 35. Some of the staff are involved in the various outreach programs.
Transition Program – When the children of the orphanage turn 18 they enter the transition program. We provide them with a minimum of technical schooling, housing in the village, and an allowance. We strive to teach them how to become independent, productive citizens in this three year process. There are currently eight young adults in the program, with one being sponsored to become a Doctor.
Elderly Program – There are currently 24 elderly in our village that are enrolled. With virtually no government social services in Haiti, the elderly are often overlooked and neglected. We bring them food and hygiene boxes on a monthly basis. Our medical clinic sees to their medical needs by visiting their homes at least once a month. Visiting teams do repairs on their houses or make things that help them with their physical limitations.
Starfish Program – The purpose of this program is to keep kids out of our orphanage. Roughly 90% of the estimated 400,000 children that are in Haitian orphanages are not true orphans. In most cases the mother or father, or both, just don’t have the means to care for them. There are currently 24 women enrolled in the program, with over 50 on the waiting list. There is a life skill training class held bi- weekly that everyone must attend, this is a Christ-centered program that also addresses their spiritual needs. Most of this program is operated on a one-to-one basis, as every case has such different circumstances and needs. We often have to arrange for housing, see to the mother’s or children’s medical needs, and provide other emergency assistance. After meeting the immediate needs, we provide jobs or use micro-loans to help that family become sustainable.
The starfish program runs a depot (small warehouse), where participants can get bulk products on credit to go sell retail in the market or village that they live in. Last year the Starfish program built 11 houses and fixed up over 25 houses (shacks) to make them somewhat weatherproof. Twenty-four ladies graduated from the program in 2015, meaning they had a sustainable income, shelter, and their children were enrolled in school. This program is in its early stages of development. We believe that God wants us to make this program the focus of Tytoo. That by a holistic approach, we attend to a family’s spiritual, physical, and social needs in order to keep it intact. Our goal should always be to eliminate the need for an orphanage.
Medical Clinic – Tytoo’s clinic is operated by a Haitian staff and is open 3 days a week. In 2015 the clinic saw 3,027 patients, with the average day being 25-30 patients. There is a fee of $1.50 to be seen, but nobody will be turned away in an emergency. We can usually provide the necessary medications through donations. We also operate a benevolent fund that will help cover the cost of surgeries and hospital stays. At times a lifesaving operation can be covered with as little as $250. We often provide transportation to hospitals in Port-au-Prince. Many lives are saved at the clinic each year.
Amazing Grace Church – For over three years Touch of Hope has been a partner of a church plant in our village. We supported Pastor Patrice’s personal expenses during this time. Since 2013 this church met at Tytoo Gardens for worship. A church from Iowa committed to raise funds to build a church building for them. In October a 6,000 square foot building was completed. The sanctuary can hold over 500 people. In March we will be ending our support because we believe this church can now be self-supporting.
Kayla & Webert – Kayla began 2015 with the 5 Homes Campaign, which raised money for five of the cooks at school that were still living in tent shelters left from the 2010 earthquake. God provided enough money to build 10 houses. Kayla and Webert also administer the Lazarus Fund. Almost daily someone is at the gate of their house that has a desperate need and on more than one occasion Kayla had given away their grocery money. The Lazarus Fund touched the lives of 97 families last year by either direct emergency aid or loans. You name the need and most likely the Lazarus Fund fulfilled it for someone. This fund also directly saved several lives.
Touch of Hope was founded in April of 2011. We are truly humbled by what God has done with it and through it in less than five years. We could have never imagined it. We thank God for each of you that partner with us in so many ways. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!
The Grooters and Raymond Families
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to the power that is at work within us, to him be the glory …” – Ephesians 3:20