For 25 years, Cincinnati-based Hope for Haiti’s Children (HFHC) has provided Christian education, meals, medical care, and agricultural, vocational and leadership training to children who otherwise could not afford it.
HFHC Vice President Tonya Hunt shares, “We want to grow leaders who in turn will help their own country and people.”
Poverty-stricken Haiti has very few public schools, so most schools are tuition-based. Fifty percent of school-age Haitian children never attend school. HFHC serves about 3,000 children in 10 schools in diverse parts of the country.
Tonya states, “HFHC is primarily a sponsorship organization. Sponsors pay $36 a month and that puts a child through school. One hundred percent of the sponsorship stays in Haiti. Our ministry is unique in that we only have Haitians working in our schools and other programs. Everyone involved knows the language, the country and the people, and can interact well,” she remarks. Tonya adds, “We have a very strong network of Haitian leaders on the ground that we trust to do the work.”
In addition to sponsorships, the ministry raises funds to operate two orphanages, a micro-farm, an annual medical clinic, daily school lunch programs and Camp Hope, a 21-acre recreational and training facility offering summer youth leadership camps.
One of the key sponsors of their lunch program is in neighboring Mason. Cincinnati EntryPoint transforms local doors and windows and is a committed partner with HFHC in transforming the lives of impoverished children many miles away in Haiti.
Cincinnati EntryPoint owners Bruce and Suzy Carden share their company goal. “Because God has blessed the growth of our companies, we have been able to meet a goal of feeding a child with every door we sell,” Bruce says. “We prefer to keep our charity private, but hopefully by being open we will inspire others to get involved in this wonderful organization helping the children of Haiti.”
Bruce and Suzy started sponsoring children 22 years ago, and eventually expanded their commitment to the lunch program.
Tonya explains, “One thing that sets us apart is our lunch program. A lot of these kids might not eat every day, so a parent knows their child will eat if they are at our schools.” She continues, “That’s what EntryPoint provides. Bruce is very humble about it, but he has a big heart for these kids. He has sustained one of our school’s lunch programs for many years. It has given stability to that school to know their lunch program is being taken care of.”
A guaranteed daily meal is so important to the children.
Tonya relates, “I have seen this firsthand when I visited a school and spoke with the cook who said the lunch program changed their school. Every day when the kids arrive, instead of playing or going to their classroom, they head to the kitchen to see what’s cooking. They grow up not knowing when their next meal will come, so they want the reassurance each day that there will be a meal.”
Sponsored children also receive regular medical care. Every year HFHC sets up a medical clinic in the city of Port au Prince and brings every child in their schools to the clinic for a check-up.
Tonya says, “There are very few clinics, hospitals or doctors in Haiti. Our annual clinic is staffed with volunteer medical personnel from the U.S. We provide medicines, follow-ups, referrals to a specialist and pay for any medical services required. During the year we keep a nurse in each school to monitor any needs.”
The Cincinnati headquarters of HFHC provides training and resources, secures sponsorships and raises funds for all operational costs. They partner with individuals, businesses, government and nonprofits. HFHC is committed to a high level of financial accountability and integrity that has been recognized by the independent rating group, Charity Navigator, who has awarded HFHC their highest rating for seven years. The past three years, HFHC received a perfect score, one of only 11 international charities in the U.S. with this stellar rating. One hundred percent of sponsorships and 89% of all other funds go directly to Haiti.
Tonya reflects on the mission of Hope for Haiti’s Children. “It’s all about these children and giving them a chance. When they get this opportunity to go to school, their whole life changes. There’s no telling what these children can be. They rely on others’ compassion. You can become their safety net.”
For information on sponsorships and donations, please contact: info@HopeForHaitisChildren.org.
Hope For Haiti’s Children, 12020 Southwick Lane, Cincinnati, 866.314.9330, HopeForHaitisChildren.org
“It’s all about these children and giving them a chance. When they get this opportunity to go to school, their whole life changes. There’s no telling what these children can be. They rely on others’ compassion. You can become their safety net.” —Tonya Hunt