Emmaus House transitions orphaned youth into independent living in Haiti
Emmaus House empowers orphaned Haitian youth and restores their hope through Christ.
We believe that orphaned Haitian youth can heal, grow, and thrive in Christian, familial settings.
We believe these young people have the potential to create generational change as faithful leaders in their communities.
Over 1/2 of the population in Haiti is under the age of 24 (CIA World Factbook)
Only 1% of the youth graduate secondary school by age 24 (epic.org)
40% of Haitians are unemployed (CIA World Factbook)
There are 430,000 orphaned children in Haiti (UNICEF 2012)
In Haiti, around 300,000 children grow up as domestic sales called restaveks (restavekfreedom.org)
An estimated 32,000 children grow up in one of Haiti's 760 orphanages (Lumos Foundation)
Children who grow up orphanages age out at age 18 (IBESR)
Of youth who grow up in orphanages, 70% will become criminals, 60% will enter prostitution, 40% will become homeless, and 10% will commit suicide (insamer.com)
STANDING IN THE GAP
There is a gap in orphan care that often goes unacknowledged. Many organizations in Haiti exist to care for orphaned children, rescue children from slavery, and provide orphan prevention interventions. While all such programs are greatly needed, children who grow up in orphanages and child slavery systems are often forgotten once they age out and are released at age 18.
When these youth age out, they lack the education, life skills, and emotional maturity to live a functional life of independence. As a result, many orphaned youth are left to the streets and turn to crime or prostitution to alleviate their poverty. This leads to a higher society crime rate, breaks down the family system, and contributes further to the orphan crisis.
Since 2013, Emmaus House has been committed to standing in the gap for this often forgotten age group in Haiti. At Emmaus House, we provide orphaned youth with a home to belong, spiritual guidance, healing from past trauma, educational opportunities, and hope for a better future.
In Luke 24 there is a story about two men who traveled the road to Emmaus shortly after Jesus’ death on the cross. Feeling as though all hope had been lost, they mourned the loss of their Savior. As they walked, Jesus met them on the road. Although they didn’t recognize who He was, Jesus journeyed alongside of them. Arriving at Emmaus they broke bread together and the men’s eyes were opened. Jesus was alive and with them, and their hope in life was fully restored.
We chose the name Emmaus House because just like the two men in the Bible, we want our youth to journey alongside Jesus in order to find true hope. Yes, they all have endured tragedy and live in a country where so many odds are against them, but with Jesus all things are possible. They are not alone. He is always with them. We want Emmaus House to be a place where Haitian youth can come to have their eyes opened to Christ and their hope in life restored.
When Emmaus House was originally founded in 2013, it was our intent to only serve youth aging out of the Cap Haitien Children's Home. We quickly became overwhelmed, however, by the vast needs of all the orphaned youth who were aging out of orphanages and child slavery systems in Haiti. Witnessing this need, we decided to expand our approach beyond the CHCH.
Currently we rent two houses and are at capacity with 17 residential student. In the Fall of 2016 we began fundraising to build a new campus which will enable us to serve 30 residential students at one time. Owning our own property will allow us to become a more financially sustainable ministry, enable us to expand our programs and services, have a permanent residence in the city, and almost double the number of residential youth we can serve at one time. In addition to our residential homes, the new campus will also include an administrative building, an outdoor classroom, and a small guest house.