Meet Naiderson

Meet Naiderson.

Like many ten-year-old Haitian boys, he loves playing soccer with his friends. And, like too many Haitian children, his parents were unable to take care of him and he was abandoned at an orphanage.

haiti educationNow, meet Pastor Gaetan — the man with the biggest smile in all of Haiti.

When we first visited Yaveh Shamma, the orphanage on his property, we noticed a hospital bed laying in between two tents — one tent for the girls and one for the boys. Pastor Gaetan and his wife slept between them.

“I wanted them to be protected, like a shepherd who cares for his sheep.”

The earthquake brought sixteen children (including Naiderson) into his care, in addition to the fourteen he already had. This was not a man who skipped over James 1:27; he lives and breathes “pure religion.”

When we met his orphans for the first time, they would hardly look us in the eyes. They were traumatized, skinny, dirty, broken. All they had was God and Pastor and Mrs. Gaetan. Many nights, they would gather at night and pray that God would provide food and water for the next day. Otherwise, they would go hungry.

Pastor Gaetan — a modern-day George Muller serving the broken, hungry children of Haiti.

Help One Now began to work with Pastor Gaetan. We started a sponsorship program, so that the children would have food. We were able to build rooms, so the children had shelter. We were able to dig a well and help to have a purifier installed to protect the children from some of the diseases that run wild through Haiti.

Pastor Gaetan knew something was missing. The earthquake had destroyed the neighborhood school, so we helped build a simple tent school so that the children could be educated. Over 150 children started to attend.

Two years later, we knew it was time to do even more. So, we launched The Legacy Project. With the help of our team of amazing bloggers, we raised $150,000 for a new school building in Petionville, the home of Pastor Gaetan and Yaveh Shamma. That school is under construction and will open this fall.

Children like Naiderson need education. Whether abandoned or orphaned, the hopes and dreams are the same. Today, he sits at an empty desk in the middle of a construction zone, but tomorrow, he will attend school in a place of safety and protection. The love and education he now receives will forever change his life.

Children like Naiderson represent hope and possibility. Education gives that hope a foundation; it is the catalyst for all kinds of opportunities for Naiderson and for Haiti.

Help One Now is committed to helping one child (children like Naiderson) by partnering with one leader (like Pastor Gaetan). This is how we will break the cycle of extreme poverty: one community at a time, one leader at a time, one child at a time.

We cannot do this alone. There are over 150 million Naidersons around the world. They are calling out for our help; we simply must answer.

This point here is where you come in. Help One Now is a simple tribe composed of people who collectively work together to do good in the world.

You can help, and you might not even need to spend a penny.

In 2012, we raised over $152,000 in our Garage Sales For Orphans campaign (GS4O’s). We rallied together, sold our excess and donated the proceeds. Together, we fought child slavery, created jobs, built schools and provided clean water to many communities both in Haiti and Africa.

We believe in the next two years, we can raise over $1,000,000. To be sure, that is an incredible number. But, we must give orphans like Naiderson access to education; they will be the future leaders of their communities and their countries.

Join the movement, make a difference and change the world!

I'm the Founder/CEO of Help One Now. I live in downtown Raleigh with my wife and two daughters. I'm a justice advocate who loves Haiti and Africa. Feel free to connect on Twitter or Facebook.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/lindambolt Linda Mickler Bolt

    Please discuss the issue of orphans who are not true orphans. Is there any way to give support to children like Naiderson, and return them to their families? (I’m not trying to be difficult; I am just trying to learn more about these issues in Haiti.)

    • http://www.chrismarlow.me/ Chris Marlow

      Linda,

      Great question,

      An orphan is anyone who has been abandoned by parents, living or dead. So, he is a true orphan. Sometimes we know if they had parents, sometimes we don’t. Sometimes the parents disappear to never be heard from again. Sometimes they return out of nowhere and want to reconnect with their kids.

      It’s messy!

      We do our best to always reconnect kids back to their families. We just helped two of our kids leave the orphanage to live back with their father. We also just hired a local Haitian staffer who will always try and locate the family and see if we can’t help the kids and families to get back together.

    • http://www.chrismarlow.me/ Chris Marlow

      Linda,

      Great question,

      An orphan is anyone who has been abandoned by parents, living or dead. So, he is a true orphan. Sometimes we know if they had parents, sometimes we don’t. Sometimes the parents disappear to never be heard from again. Sometimes they return out of nowhere and want to reconnect with their kids.

      It’s messy!

      We do our best to always reconnect kids back to their families. We just helped two of our kids leave the orphanage to live back with their father. We also just hired a local Haitian staffer who will always try and locate the family and see if we can’t help the kids and families to get back together.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lamar.stockton Lamar Stockton

    great post! I love that kid. we can all learn a lot from Pastor Geatan!

  • http://www.facebook.com/lamar.stockton Lamar Stockton

    great post! I love that kid. we can all learn a lot from Pastor Geatan!