by Grace Agostinho, proprietor of the French Cafe in Manotick, Ontario
Be the change you want to see in the world.
Here is my story.
The Orphanage de la Judée in Gonnaives, Haîti, was utterly devastated by two hurricanes, Gustav and Hanna, that struck the island in quick succession in 2008. Hurricane force winds and a storm surge left the majority of Gonnaives flooded. It is estimated that over 20,000 homes and buildings were ruined — the Orphanage de la Judée was one of the casualties. But that same, tumbled down orphanage remains home to 35 orphans to this day, months after another horrible disaster, the January 2010 earthquake.
In September 2008, I first heard of the devastation and despair of the Orphanage, and made a commitment to myself to help these children one way or another. Within days, a group of local Manotick residents was formed, and we agreed that together, we would help these children and this orphanage. The seed was sown that led to the formation of the MANOTICK PROJECT FOR HAITI.
The founders of the orphanage are Louise and Pastor Ismorin Noêl. Ismorin manages the Orphanage and Louise is currently in Ottawa, hoping to go permanently to Haiti eventually and be the mother figure for these unclaimed children.
Our vision is to build and relocate the Orphange de la Judée to a new location in the community of Ennery, which is located on safer, higher ground northeast of Gonnaives.
Since the terrible earthquake on January 12th, 2010, the situation has become more tenuous in terms of the increase in the number of orphans, the availability of supplies, and the stability of the existing building that houses the children.
I went to visit the orphanage and spend the 2009/2010 holidays with the children. It was the best Christmas gift that I ever gave to myself, and of course, we also brought some supplies down from Canada. It was a wonderful experience for me and I love these children more than ever.
I arrived a week before the earthquake.
To support this project please make donations to:
French Cafe Angels
P.O. Box 329
K4M 1 A4
Drop off donations:
French Café at the Manotick Mews
1160 Beaverwood Rd
Thank you so much for being a part of this beautiful project for the children!
~ Grace Agostinho