What do "TOES" have to do with our ministry?
Toes initially reminded us of the orphans of Haiti & how each one has a unique identity found in their own footprint and a treacherous journey to walk in this impoverished country. It has since come to represent each precious individual that we meet: baby, child, adult, parent, elderly...and how God has created everyone in His own image, from their heads right down to their TOES! We also wear sandals A LOT in this country, so toes are part of the daily landscape!!
Why "TEN MILLION"?
News headlines immediately after the earthquake in Jan 2010 stated:
"Haiti had 380,000 orphans even before the 7.0-magnitude quake of January 12 and several powerful aftershocks toppled buildings, leaving as many as 300,000 dead and many more homeless and jobless. The deaths of parents crushed under rubble could see the number of orphans double, while some aid workers fear the island will have to look after as many as one million children - a sizeable chunk of Haiti's 9.6-million population."
Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/americas/haiti-home-of-a-million-orphans#ixzz2yJ6fvXhz
"Crisis of the one million Haitian orphans as Unicef warns the devastation has jumped to 'unbearable proportions'"
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1244339/Crisis-million-Haitian-orphans--emerges-26-left-island-earthquake-claimed-200-000-lives.html#ixzz2yJ73tDw6
So, originally, ten million represented the 10 toes x 1 million orphans initially reported after the earthquake devastation. While that is no longer a valid estimate we DO know that there are FAR too many orphans & vulnerable children in this country as well as unstable families.
OUR MINISTRY GOAL now is to prevent AT LEAST (as in...not limited to) 1 MILLION at risk children globally from either being given the label of "orphan" OR to assist in having it removed!
We're starting right here in our own (Haitian) backyard at present. Our hope is to find tangible ways globally to prevent abandonment & maternal death, increase family stability & assist in reunification of children with life-long families, preferrably in their own native country.
- Business incubation - We are presently creating a Haitian outsourcing business, starting with computer programming. Rebecca's brother's business in the U.S. will partner with us to provide training & active programming contracts for both small & major corporations that they work with. We anticipate rolling out a 1 month pilot in May 2014. If the first month is successful we will switch over to a very small team of salaried programmers. All revenue will be reinvested into growing the team larger & it is very likely that this will become a brand new Haitian industry. Eventually this will be a social enterprise with revenues being donated to new or less self-sustaining ministry projects. On the back burner we also have the possibility of expanding in the future to other outsourcing arenas here as well as adding a transition direct-training program for youth aging out of local orphanages. (Read more...HERE)
- Maternal Death Prevention - with the goal being to create new community birthing centers. We have been in discussion with Midwives for Haiti about starting our first birthing center on the campus of Hopital Albert Schwietzer in Deschapelles. This will be a great learning environement for the first one as we will have great collboration & support! However we are GLAD that the center will fall under MINISTRY rather than a simple NGO service provision, as we hope to see the women & babies poured into from hearts of servanthood & Christ's love. Rebecca is an L&D RN & has received a partial grant already to start midwifery school this fall. When she is done there will also be the potential to oversee further skilled birth attendant/midwife training. The future vision for this project, would be to create small community birthing centers in ministry-minded communities throughout Haiti. We envision developing, piloting and finding long term somewhat sustainable solutions for community based maternity care in a few & then replicating the model further with various interested ministry partners already working here. (Find more about this project HERE)
* Ten Million Toes is a ministry organization in development, which currently functions in partnership with & under the fiscal sponsorship of International Hope & Heritage a registered 501(c)3 (http://www.hopeheritage.org/)