July-August Newsletter

Now, we're at #27!

In July, we welcomed 16-year-old Shely Wilna Metellus. Shely came to us by way of an acquaintance of Fanfan’s who was looking for a home for the little girl that he grew up with thinking was his cousin. Shely’s mother died when she was only a year-old; she does not know her father. A neighbor who watched Shely’s mother struggle to care for herself and the child, showed pity on Shely and took her in as his own. Shely grew up believing that the man who raised her was her father. As is typical with most of our children, her HIV status was not discovered until she was hospitalized with an AIDS-related condition.

Once her caretaker found out about her HIV disease, instead of rejecting her, he kept Shely’s diagnosis a secret from his wife and biological children. Even though Shely was sent to school, she was treated as a restavec, a term reserved for child servant in Haiti. Shely knows all about her ARV medications and was taught how to hid and take them in secret.

Since Shely’s arrival at the CHOAIDS house, the only challenge we have had with her is that she is more focused on housework than studying and taking care of herself. We trust that she will soon allow herself to be a kid and enjoy life.


Our Kids’ Health

We are thankful to our Lord and Savior that most of our children are in good health; however, Rose-Michelle, Mackenley, Jordany and Harold are in such exceptional health that their infectious disease doctor has given them their ARV medications and told them to return for care in three to four months. We thank God for this wonderful news because not long ago, Rose-Michelle was on her deathbed. Wilka, Jennifer, Ruth L., Edison, and Richardson, on the other hand, suffered some discomforts with diarrhea, bellyaches and ear infection and fever, and two hernias, respectively. Richardson was referred to Petit-Freres et Soeurs, or in English Little Brothers & Sisters for further examination and treatment; unfortunately, his condition cannot be resolved without surgery. We will keep you informed on the outcome of Richardson’s condition.

Visitors in July!

One of our children’s favorite visitor and advocate, Michelle Z., visited the children in July during protests and political instability. I do not think the children will soon forget the fun time they had playing with her. I learned that Guenson was in disbelief when he heard that Michelle was leaving. She is among the few people who goes to the orphanage and takes in the entire experience; meaning, she enjoys playing with and being with the children. In fact, the staff could not believe their eyes as Michelle and the children played water fights. Among the many items she brought were gifts for the children to have during birthday celebrations including birthday cards. Other activities during this trip, she purchased seven ceiling fans and a much-needed stove for the house. Yes, the children are enjoying wonderful ceiling fans that do not break so easily. Before leaving Haiti, she sent a group of 25 Giving University volunteers to visit the children. We are so happy to be sharing this divine mission with potentially future volunteers.

In Other News!

We are preparing for our first CONCERT FOR KIDS fundraiser at the Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown Milwaukee, WI on November 10, at 7 PM. Our marketing coordinator, Corinne Hale, spearheaded this effort and is in dire need of YOUR help to make this event a success. Tickets are $25/person and of course, food is included! Please reach out to her at corinnehale@choaids.org or me at info@choaids.org to find out how you may be able to help. We need you to give, as you are able, and tell your friends in the Wisconsin area to attend the event. As you know, with CHOAIDS every little bit counts!

It is worth noting that the church that comes to worship with OUR children every Sunday morning started hosting bimonthly Bible study on Tuesday afternoons at the orphanage. Pastor Jonas and two volunteers diligently come to the house to pray and study the Bible with the children. We are grateful to L’Eglise de la Bonne Nouvelle for helping us meet our children’s spiritual needs.

Our social worker and third-year law student, Mr. Yves Hyppolite, has been educating our children on disaster preparedness. In August, he spent two days reviewing the importance of preparing for natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis.

In July, our children began preparing for our annual World AIDS Day event with the same arts and theater teacher they have had since 2012, Mr. Julien Galland. The Arts & Theater teacher works with them on Fridays and Sundays for several weeks before the GRAND event. We are looking forward to the finished product at our event on Saturday, November 18, 2018.

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