One Gift, One Child exists to love every child the way God, the Father, sees them.
What Do We Do?
We rescue traumatized, (often) abused and abandoned children from corrupt orphanages and hospitals.
We give them nutritious food, a clean living environment, medical care, safety, love, counseling, education -- and place them in families, where they will be raised as children should with caring nurturance and attachments. The majority of our rescued children are non-verbal and have complex special needs.
We work in our local community where gangs, drugs and prostitution are a normal way of life. Preventing orphans starts with teaching and empowering a family to live with healthy attachments and relationships, instead of abandoning their child to a local orphanage where children are subject to heavy abuse, child slavery and exploitation from the first world sponsors.
This has many aspects but the main goal is to provide every child a safe environment where they are protected from abuse, trafficking and slavery.
Why is This Work Important?
Haiti's orphanage industry is known to run as a business. Children are often exploited for funds from first world country donors and religious organizations. Child seekers are sent by the orphanage to seek out impoverished families and buy their children or make false promises to fill the orphanage with children (who have a family) but seek a better life.
These institutional orphanages often keep children in slavery where they are more often than not- abused physically and/or sexually.
It's well understood that orphanages create unhealthy and broken attachments and are the worst way to raise children. In Haiti, the worst of these enslave children, abuse them physically or sexually, and give them no training or education. When they reach 18 years old, they are forced out on their own even though they lack several years of high school. Studies show that boys are often forced to join violent gangs, may become homeless or end up in prison. Girls often become prostitutes or end up in abusive relationships.
Children need healthy familial attachments even into adulthood, and institutional orphanages purposely keep children away from their families. We provide education to impoverished parents and work to holistically evaluate the needs of the Haitian family unit.
Why do we do what we do?
We are Christians who have a calling to serve and love Haitian children and their families in a way that often goes against this culture filled with abuse.
We and our Haitian staff risk our lives to do this work because we believe that doing this will help bring change in a generation that has experienced gang violence instead of a safe childhood. Our local gangs do not allow invasion by other gangs, and we know our local gangsters personally, so are able to have a modest influence on them and especially their children.
The voodoo religion is often vindictive, cruel, selfish, deceptive, and exploitive - even going as far as sacrificing babies and children. This religion is responsible for killing children every day through their “healing powers”, to which people pay to take the sick for promised healing.
Children are the most vulnerable and are forced to drink concoctions (even motor oil) that ultimately kill them. Parents pay witch doctors to "remove the curse" of their special needs child so that they, in return, can murder this child without worry that a curse will haunt the family after the child’s death.
If children with special needs are not murdered, they are most likely to be abandoned at local hospitals or corrupt and abusive orphanages. Medical care in Haiti is not available for the complex medical issues of special needs, so parents are left without any support or knowledge how to safely care for their child. Communities and families often shun a parent who has a child with special needs, so our parents usually arrive feeling depressed and hopeless.
We teach suffering children kindness and honesty, and show them love. We help our kids learn self-respect and their own personal value while giving them an education. EVERY child, no matter the severity of their needs, attends school where value, respect, dignity and love are modeled. We teach both adults and kids parenting skills, to break the culture of abuse and exploitation.
Want to help?
How do we do this?
We employ local teachers, nurses, therapists, and medical providers, as well as non-specialists, to rehabilitate the traumatized children that we take in. Our programs are designed to empower and teach both adults and children so that the family unit in Haiti may one day become healthy and safe.
Our program hires parents with special needs children so that we can provide them with a fair paying job and their child will benefit from coming to work with the parent. They will come daily to our special needs daycare and school and the parent can work knowing their child is in a safe environment as well. A working parent who leaves their special needs child at home, is subject to extreme abuse or neglect. A parent who stays home with their special needs child cannot provide for their family and come to us in extreme poverty.
We help to solve this problem while empowering the WHOLE family unit and keeping children safe.
We do share our faith -- our Christian faith teaches justice, kindness, love, respect, honesty, and responsibility. We are non-denominational. We have a weekly community faith-centered program on Friday afternoons with a meal, music, fun and education, attended by hundreds of children. At this, we also provide health checks to monitor malnutrition, abuse, neglect and illnesses that run rampant in our impoverished community and slums. Our nurses follow up with Saturday appointments with our family doctor who see the children for free. Street children are also part of this program and come at their own designated time for their weekly program. It is the only medical care and consistent meal they receive.
We rescue abandoned special-needs children. Neither orphanages nor families are able to care for these -- they simply suffer. We are able to give them comfort, medical care, nutrition, and affection. This is our Jerry House ministry, named for one of our first rescues, who was rescued and fostered by our director for many months. Jerry is still alive and has become our beacon of hope of the change that has now affected hundreds of lives and families.
We rescue trafficked teen girls from corrupt orphanages, some of whom have joined our staff after going through our program. Five of these girls were rehabbed and transitioned back into their biological families before joining our staff and one remains in a full time work program with her own child, born out of sexual abuse in the previous orphanage.
We have rescued several street boys who had been living homeless. One of those has been rehabbed and returned to his biological family after years of living on the streets. Two of our special needs children have passed away of illness. We currently have 19 children in our full time care, and many more in our relocation and outreach programs.
We managed four foster homes before the present chaos and crisis that we had to close because we could not keep these community homes safe and secure. When order is reestablished, we want to resume foster homes. Families and will then need seven homes due to the increasing number of children now in our care.
Our local gangs do not allow invasion by other gangs, and we know our local gangsters personally, so are able to have a modest influence on them and especially their children.
We normally find foster homes for our children and train the foster parents in parenting skills but this is impossible right now as families are separating: those who can flee the country, do.
Rehabilitation and training:
One Gift Academy
This is a special needs classroom that serves 24+ children who have never gone to school or were bullied because their disability. Most of these children live with family and come to school with the special needs children in our full time care.
The children receive physical and occupational therapy, learning classes and receiving nutritious meals. We provide medical care as needed, as we are able, and seizure medications. We are working to provide wheelchairs and therapy equipment (always a need) and will coordinate and pay for surgeries when necessary.
By creating this school, we are bringing DIGNITY to a child and HOPE to a family while preventing poverty orphans. We have many more families in our outreach program that cannot come daily and we are working to extend our programs to helping with physical needs for these families during this crisis in Haiti.
Our nurses have an outreach program of doing home visits to children where we check up on living situations. They often find child slaves within our own community. We work with local social services and government to help these children in abusive situations.
One Gift, One Child seeks to show value to those who are abused, neglected, thrown away and looked down upon by the Haitian culture.
In memory of Baby Lovenson who was murdered by his mother because he was born with hydrocephaly. ---->
Relocation and Respite
We began this program in memory of a child murdered by his
mother when we could not take him in. We relocate (into our facility)
single parents and their special needs child for up to a year to
provide respite, medical care, a job and therapy for both parent and
We have a new home we rented for this program because we are overflowing with requests. We now have 3 in the program and 3 more needing to relocate to us. This program helps a parent learn to care for their child. It aims to prevent children from being murdered or abandoned at a hospital or orphanage. This program has successfully kept children in families and provided respite to seven single parents who have come through this program. Eleven other local single parents (with special needs children) have also benefited from our work/daycare program.
Our staff serve our community with a specialized children's ministry program every Friday afternoon. We serve 300-400 children from our local community every week. We work to keep them safe in their family environments by working with their parents. We provide a meal every week and these children learn how to be a 'leader' no matter their age. We also teach the Gospel, which provides a foundation and motivation for nurturance, love, and peace.