In 2011, Mme. Soliette sat down with a group of people and shared her dream and vision for the children at The Jesus Home for Children of La Gonave. She shared that she wanted them to grow up to be leaders and members of society who could give back to their community. She also dreamed of a place where the children could run and play. Where they could live in small housing pods, more family style with a house mom.
Shortly after that conversation, Okipe partnered with Extollo International to build the Children's Village. They came and trained local Haitians with construction skills and then worked alongside locals and paid them to build the village.
In April 2013, Mme. Soliette, her staff and the children moved into the Children's Village. The village sits on just under 4 acres. It consists of 10 housing pods, 8 of which are for children and house moms. One pod is used as an administration pod, including an office for our School Director, administrative assistant, and medical area for our nurse. The second pod is an area for Mme. Soliette, two supervisors and storage for clothing and other supplies.
Education is a high priority for Mme. Soliette. She has a primary school at the village. Ten teachers come to the village every day to teach students preschool through sixth grade. In addition to the over sixty children from the children's village, more than 100 other children from outside the walls come in for school each day who are unable to afford school otherwise.
The village also has a multipurpose room where the children eat together, prepare food and sometimes even have a movie night! The entire village is powered with solar power and all the water used comes from either rain catchment or the well on site.
The Children's Village
“I love that we can all sit at a table and eat together at the same time.”
“My favorite place is to sit in the shade under the pavillion."
“We have room to run and play soccer every day!”