Saturday, January 16, 2010

Orphanage Desperate For Help:Innocent Children Greatest Victim in Haiti

I came across this post via twitter today among several other news reports and blog posts on this dire situation. This particular story touched my heart today and I wanted to do my part in speaking out for these children and their beautiful caregivers. The young women who have committed their lives and time to help these children in an orphanage in earthquake stricken Haiti are two sisters, who are only in their 20's.

These brave and selfless young women have taken it upon themselves to care for these children without a home and without a family. Many of these children had paperwork pending for adoptions with families in places such as the US. (see video below on baby Alexander) However, those documents are now lost and destroyed along with many lives, in the rubble left by the 7.0 earthquake. I hope the writer doesn't mind me sharing this, but here is some background on these two women and the Brebis de Saint-Michel de L'Attalaye orphanage in Port-au-Prince, BRESMA, orphanage taken from a family friend's blog, That's Church, and the situation of these innocent children who are the greatest victim's in Haiti: 
Jamie, 30, and Ali McMutrie, 21, have been running an orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti for three years.  The orphanage houses 150 children.  Jamie and Ali live with about 25-30 of the smallest and/or sickest children.  You will want to read this article from Pittsburgh Magazine, which first shed light on their work.

Following the earthquake, it seemed the house withstood the shock initially, but aftershocks began and Jamie and Ali’s house began crumbling and made it unsafe for habitation. They then moved their children to the yard, where they have been living on very little food and water, in addition to running low or out of supplies such as diapers, etc.

With the backing of the family, I put out a call to the country through my blog and twitter for political help, plane help, and humanitarian aid for the girls, who I have met previously. Twitter responded. My readers responded. The media responded.

Video on BRESMA orphanage situation

Video on Alexander

What we can tell you for now:

* Everything I have posted about Jamie and Ali is true and has been cleared with the family and their representatives. They are getting their information directly from Jamie and Ali and passing it on to me. I have not and I will not post anything without permission from them. This is a delicate matter and it will be treated as such.
* Due to your action, we do have the right people working on every facet of the rescue, from acquiring planes, to securing food and water, to logistics, to safety, to immigration, etc. They have not stopped working and will continue to work until the children are evacuated.
* You may have seen a recent video on CNN, and we want you to understand — THE SITUATION IS DIRE. Food and water are still required in order for the children to survive. Those of us behind the scenes know how brave it was for Jamie and Ali to put on a smile in the face of such dire circumstances. They are keeping it together for the kids because calm and cool is their nature. But make no mistake–their situation is serious. The cameras showed only a small portion of the 150 children in their care. When you’re feeding that many, food and water become more scarce by the minute.

What can you do?


1. If you have any contacts with people on the ground in Haiti, humanitarian groups, the military or anyone for that matter that can get food and water to Jamie and Ali, as well as supplies, please email me and I will put you in touch with those who can work with you to help us. I am at virginia[at]thatschurch[dot]com.

2. Call or email your senator and your congressman. Write to all of them if you can. Light a fire under them to do what is necessary to expedite the process for granting humanitarian parole for ALL of Haiti’s orphans.

3. There is a need for:

* diapers (infant, baby, toddler)
* powdered baby formula
* crackers/snacks (appropriate for small children)
* warm coats/winter clothes/shoes (baby, toddler, children)
* bottled water.

There is no need for:

* toys
* books
* baby food
* or summer clothes at this time.

If you would like to drop off items you can do so (after 11 a.m.) at 1212 West North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15233. Please proceed through the gate. Leave your donations in the right front apartment (1212) on the first floor. The doors will be unlocked. There will be a sign that says “BRESMA Donations”.

4. You can donate to the BRESMA orphanage: this is how you can donate to Jamie, Ali, and BRESMA

5. Pray. For BRESMA and all of Haiti.

Please understand this is a sensitive international situation and we are sharing with you WHAT WE CAN.

Things are dire. Gears are turning. I hope to have good news soon.

For updated information: Please stay up to date with what is happening at the orphanage in Haiti at That's Church and/or follow the blog author, Jane Pitt, on twitter.You can also find That's Church group on Facebook. Finally, please pray for these children and all those who have lost their homes and lives in this tragic situation. May God have mercy on them and those who are working tirelessly to save lives and rebuild a sense of civility.

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