Annual Mission Review – Part I

paul

By Paul Young

At the Fond Blanc Foundation, we are taking time to think about our recent efforts and to share our self-evaluations with you, our supporters. We’re asking ourselves a lot of questions about where we have been most effective and where we could improve. One way to frame up that assessment is to look at our work through the lens of our mission statement.

The Mission Statement for the Fond Blanc Foundation reads as follows:

“Providing a foundation, rooted and established in love, to promote the educational, health and life development needs of the children of the Fond Blanc orphanage and the surrounding community.”

Originally, we worked hard to distill our vision down to a short statement, but I propose to reverse that effort for the sake of this review. This is the first of four posts in which we will unpack that mission statement. The idea is to reflect on our work to date through the lens of the vision we set out for ourselves at the beginning.

“A foundation, rooted and established in love”

The Fond Blanc Foundation was started with the view that Haiti’s people could not reasonably be asked to grow and thrive if they could not first stand on their own two feet. Haiti’s history of false starts is well chronicled, and for the children of this orphanage to thrive, their circumstances first needed to be stabilized as well. We believe that the future for these children – and, indeed, all of Haiti – will come from within themselves. We are not there to do for them, but to help them do for themselves. One thing we can do, as Pastor Jean Claude always says, is “show them love.”

That love begins with our gifts of time, attention and nurture. Our efforts to show love to the children have produced some of our most satisfying and encouraging results to date. Visitors and staff alike frequently comment on how much better off the children seem to be. Much of the credit for this goes to Alison and Goulit who have lived with the children for over a year. You don’t just interrupt your whole life to move into an orphanage in Haiti if you are not powered by love. These two servants have built a model of care for us to follow in the future.

Some things are basic, such as new daily routines. Now, before the children gather for school they have all prayed, bathed, brushed their teeth, put on clean clothes and finished their daily cleaning chores. This sense of order and routine would be helpful to children in any home and Fond Blanc is no different.love-and-care There is still plenty of time after school for them to just “be kids”, but now the children can pour some of that energy into sports and crafts and even books (there are never enough books!)

Occasional tears are still a fact of life as they are with children everywhere. But Alison, Goulit and the “mommies” on staff have been nearby to intercede, comfort and correct as needed. Their constant availability has brought a pervasive sense of safety that simply wouldn’t be there if the kids had to fend for themselves all day. Instead, we see the children becoming more curious and engaged in life, and growing increasingly confident and joyful.

We’re showing them love in other ways too. Alison and Goulit started a weekly tradition of Movie Night, for which they also prepare more than fifty individual bags of fresh popcorn (which they frequently pay for themselves). And if you keep up with our blog and social media pages, you already know about the new Prim Program which offers positive reinforcement by rewarding the children with their choice of prizes for good behavior. And did you know we have a orphanage soccer team now? They play in games we helped to organize against teams from the town and surrounding areas. Look for more news soon on this exciting development.

Grounded in such love, the kids are flourishing and becoming better rooted in life. Roots strengthen the tree against storms, but roots cannot take hold and grow in soil that is unsteady or continually shifting. These children need to feel safe in the conviction that their world is OK, that it will still be OK tomorrow, and that they have nurturing caregivers upon whom they can depend. That is what we have witnessed this year. That is something we are most thankful for.

So, for this portion of our mission, I think we can say, “well done!” and start to take this area of focus to the next level. The following posts will look at our progress toward our other core objectives.

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