News & Updates from Have Faith Haiti

Remembering Haiti’s Devastating Earthquake, 10 Years Later

Remembering Haiti’s Devastating Earthquake, 10 Years Later

As the calendar marked the decade since the 7.0-magnitude earthquake, we remember the day by giving voice to the memories of the children at Have Faith Haiti who have never forgotten. You can watch the short video below.

Help is needed more now than at any time since the earthquake itself. We have the luxury of forgetting. Haiti and its children do not. Hear the stories from our kids at Have Faith Haiti Mission

Posted by Mitch Albom on Sunday, January 12, 2020

Mitch Albom also brought attention to the attention that must still be paid with an editorial in the Los Angeles Times:

Opinion: Helping one child at a time in Haiti 10 years after the devastation

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — It’s been 10 years since Haiti suffered the magnitude 7.0 quake that killed over 300,000 of its people and left more than a million displaced. The scale of the destruction left the Haitian economy, its government and daily life indelibly changed.

January marks two important days for our family at the mission. On the 9th, just a few days before the earthquake, is Chika’s birthday. She would have been 10 this year. Mitch wrote about the bittersweet remembrance as well, in the Detroit Free Press.

Chika’s birthday bittersweet, 10 years after Haiti earthquake

How do you celebrate a missing loved one’s birthday? How do you mark a date that used to be so happy and now is fraught with sadness and nostalgia? I know so many people who have lost family members, a byproduct of getting older myself, and when their birthdays come around they are filled with ennui. Some host commemorative parties. Some post old photos. Some visit cemeteries. Some just want to be left alone, to think about the years that might have been.

Celebrating World Photography Day

Celebrating World Photography Day

This spring, a photography elective was offered to high school students at the Have Faith Haiti Bilingual School. This is the first year a high school cohort and program were offered at the mission school, as the children have both gotten older and progressed academically to reach a standardized high school level!

Different lessons called for different subject matter, but please enjoy just a few snapshots of nature in their environment, especially the smallest life among them!

Photo credits to Junie-Anna and Esterline

Junie-Anna and Esterline at the Have Faith Haiti mission

Junie-Anna vs. Birds

Though they invaded her favorite reading spot on the swing, they still received a beautiful treatment here.

Speaking of winged creatures… 


… And those with legs

Shifting perspectives

What’s up there, and what must come down

Grow, grow, growing from the earth!


Valiantly holding back on all fungi / fun guy jokes… 


The Spelling Bee Turns Six

The Spelling Bee Turns Six

The annual spelling bee at the Have Faith Haiti Bilingual School is both a year-end celebration of our students’ language advancement and a fun way for teachers to evaluate students’ spelling skills. Inevitably, some familiar faces make it to the final rounds and in keeping with tradition, the students’ excitement in preparing usually means a few ties!

Please enjoy this recap of the 2019 Bee, held on June 14th (more…)

Counting Sheep Just a Little Better

Counting Sheep Just a Little Better

In April, Gardner-White Furniture and Sealy kindly donated 50 new mattresses, as well as a large sectional sofa. Perhaps you caught the story earlier:

Well, they have finally arrived! They were driven to Miami, and from there shipped in a container to Haiti. It can take some time to clear customs, but they arrived in early July. New bed bunk frames were purchased by the mission, and the students helped to build them. And while we watched the fireworks in the US on Independence Day, they slept their first night in the beds! They’re thrilled with their new sleeping digs!

We’re really grateful that people here in Detroit care so much about people who are a half-a-world away!


Michigan Colleges Alliance Presents Mitch Albom & Special Friends

Michigan Colleges Alliance Presents Mitch Albom & Special Friends

This event is a fundraiser for scholarships for students from the Have Faith Haiti Mission to attend college in partnership with the Michigan Colleges Alliance. VIP patrons are invited to an exclusive Meet and Greet with Mitch Albom and Dave Barry before the event and enjoy hors d’oeuvres, beer & wine.

Friday, August 2, 2019
6:45 pm: VIP Meet & Greet in the Community Engagement Room)
8:00 pm: Main Event

Great Lakes Center for the Arts
800 Bay Harbor Drive
Petoskey, MI 49770

$200 VIP / $100 ALL SEATS
STEAM Week Take 2!

STEAM Week Take 2!

Dan Wenkel and Dr. Beth Robelia, dedicated science teachers from Minnesota, returned with fellow educator and art teacher, Chris Weihe, for another engaging STEAM week in March. STEAM, which stands for science, technology, engineering, art, & mathematics, is tightly coupled with innovation and experiential learning. The trio brought down 14 suitcases packed with supplies, including 3 sewing machines, K’nex, snap circuit kits, and more. The week’s focus entailed experimentation, problem solving, building, failing, and persevering. As the kids reflect, it was recognized as, “THE BEST WEEK EVER!”

Dan and Beth had the youngest students building with giant Duplo Legos, launching paper rockets and predicting flight projections, color mixing, building race tracks, and engaging in countless hands on activities. Beth used candy and “fact family” cards to teach our preschoolers addition and subtraction, which the students loved.

Older students examined samples under the microscopes that were brought down during their previous trip. Students also engaged in an engineering challenge where they were grouped and given the task of creating the most durable yet cost effective tower. Students were offered materials like wooden posts, rubber bands, wire, glue, and rope, which they could “purchase.” After understanding various design constraints, students began calculating the cost of their supplies before building. At the end of the week, the towers were tested. While some were crushed under pressure, many survived and our young engineers are eager for larger scale engineering challenges.

Students were taught the importance of recycling fabric, especially clothing. Students became fabric engineers and designed, cut patterns, and actually sewed articles of clothing and accessories for the youngers students. Creations were modeled during the end of the week fashion show. The boys also sewed cushion and couch covers for the living room couch.

Ms. Chris discussed upcycling and taught students to fuse plastic grocery bags with an iron to create purses, pencil cases, and durable bags. Students also learned how to make paper and created ecofriendly paper seedling cups. Students intend to plant seeds in them, and once sprouted, students will place the cups inside garden where they’ll naturally decompose.

Additionally, students were taught how to print images on fabric. They drew images, traced them with silicone to create a print plate, applied ink, and pressed their images onto fabric totes, creating unique designs. Ms. Chris taught the kids the importance of addressing value, along with positive and negative spaces in art. Students also learned about background washing and the various ways to paint with water colors. After school, individual art tutorials were given to the interested aspiring artists.

The kids weren’t the only ones to benefit from the week. The guests taught our nannies how to operate the sewing machines that were kindly donated. They also blessed our teachers with countless educational resources and professional development, where cognitively guided instruction techniques were discussed.

One of the most impressive projects was the garden renovation. With the help of Dan, the mission has a new and durable garden. An eavestrough was placed to guide water into a series of barrels that make up the water collection system. A composter was built so that students can place food scraps and leaves from the yard within to produce rich soil.


Launching paper rockets!


Josue reviews the microscope lesson






Enolyka and Lorvens using homemade paper to produce eco-friendly seedling cups

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