Naica grew up in an orphanage in Haiti. 15% of all children in Haiti are orphaned or abandoned (“practically orphaned”). Since the 2010 earthquake, experts estimate that the number of orphans is about 750,000. Approximately 80% of the children living in orphanages in Haiti have at least one living parent. Naica has one living parent and several siblings.
Overwhelming poverty is the main reason that most Haitian parents give their children to orphanages. The parents believe that orphanages will be able to provide the basic necessities for their children that they cannot, including food, clothing, and schooling. However, without additional support, orphanages often struggle to maintain the most basic standards of living for what can be an overwhelming number of abandoned children. Matthew 25: Ministries provides food, clothing, facility improvements and upgrades, educational enrichment and micro-enterprise opportunities to the children at Naica’s orphanage, better preparing them to be responsible adults and leaders in their community.
Women and girls constitute around 70% of the world’s poor, a statistic largely attributable to neglect in their access to education. In developing countries, women in impoverished areas are systematically denied access to equal educational opportunities. If schools are fee based, girls are often enrolled only after all male siblings are enrolled. In some countries, because of custom or tradition, girls are denied schooling at all.
Matthew 25: Ministries has worked especially hard to ensure that the girls at the orphanage have the education and opportunities they need to be successful. Matthew 25 has developed several programs designed to develop marketable skills and improve job readiness for the older girls such as a home-based crochet business and an English tutoring program. While living at the orphanage, Naica ran the Crochet Micro-enterprise Program. Additionally, Naica was part of the English Tutoring Program and worked hard to acquire conversational English.
Facility in English is a gateway for Haitians to secure work in many service and professional careers where interaction with Americans or English speaking foreigners is essential. Superior language skills is a prerequisite for many middle and upper level management positions.
Through one of several job opportunities Matthew 25 has developed for young adults in the orphanage, Naica secured a job at a hotel as a receptionist, continuing to improve her English and gaining marketable skills in the hotel/hospitality industry.
Naica is now head receptionist and a management trainee at the hotel, married and starting a family with her husband.