When you think of Haiti, you probably picture the country as it looked following a devastating earthquake three years ago. In just a few terrifying minutes, the capitol was devastated and tens of thousands of Haitians were killed.
Today, there's a new chapter with our neighbors making a difference. Workers are proving food, healthcare, and hope for a future.
The founders of Love A Child, with their U.S. office in Fort Myers opened their hearts to Haiti two decades ago. Today, the have an entire compound.
"Haiti, of all the countries that we've ever visited, Haiti was the one that had the greatest need and the children really stole our hearts," Co-Founder Sherry Burnette said.
Love A Child's mission has grown to include an orphanage, a community clinic, a food distribution center, and fourteen schools.
"there's 85% unemployment here in haiti, but food is the bridge that gets them from point A to point B, and once they get to point B, we want them to learn to support themselves which they do," Co-Founder Bobby Burnette said.
Helping Haitians to help themselves is at the heart of Haiti Unlocked, LLC which is based in Cape Coral. Co-Owner Zach Van Schoyck grew up in the country and knows the languages and the culture.
"It's not necessarily cutting edge, it just makes sense in that what we're doing is helping them provide for themselves and helping them be sustainable on their own," Van Schoyck said.
The company "unlocks" Haiti by helping non-profits and mission groups with everything from transportation and interpreting for them to acquiring land and digging wells. The staff at Haiti Unlocked does everything with sustainability in mind.
"They're self-sufficient. They're empowered. They have an economy that's able to sustain themselves," Van Schoyck said.
To learn more about Love A Child, click here.
For more information on Haiti Unlocked, LLC, click here.