Based in Tricotte, the orphanage currently houses 59 children ages 4 to 17. Each child bunks in a room with 8-10 other children of the same gender. There are 2 “moms” for the boys and 2 “moms” for the girls to attend to each child’s spiritual, physical and emotional needs. We staff 14 people total including cooks, cleaners, gate men and more. When God entrusts one of His children to us, we believe we have a responsibility to minister to the whole person. That’s what we endeavor to do at the Starfish Orphanage.
Meeting a Child’s Physical Needs
A Haitian child’s most pressing needs (after his spiritual needs) are his immediate physical needs: food, shelter, and clothing. At the Starfish Ministries Orphanage, all of the sponsorship funds go directly to meeting the child’s need, with the majority going toward these physical needs. Food is the largest monthly expense. Children also receive clothing and uniforms to wear to school. And, of course, they are assigned a bed in a room they share with 8-10 other children.
Since the opening of the Starfish Ministries Medical Clinic in 2017, the orphanage now has doctors for neighbors! What a unique blessing for this ministry! The clinic is available for lab screenings, clinical care, pharmacy services and more for the community.
Meeting a Child’s Emotional Needs
Sometimes we forget here in the United States and Canada that Haitian children have all of the same emotional needs as our own children. At the orphanage, the house parents provide the kind of love and nurturing necessary to a child’s development. Older children are active with the younger ones, and the village as a whole offers a great deal of emotional support.
Meeting a Child’s Intellectual Needs
Lack of education is one of the primary causes of the problems in Haiti, both those of individuals and of the nation as a whole. At Starfish, we believe it is necessary to take responsibility for the education of the children at the orphanage in the hope that they will one day be able to provide for themselves and their families and improve the plight of their communities and their nation.
Meeting a Child’s Spiritual Needs
What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul? And what have we at Starfish accomplished if we feed an entire nation but ignore its spiritual needs?
At Starfish we are very conscious that our responsibility to these children is not merely temporal. We believe that the instructions and promises in God’s Word regarding child rearing apply to us and our Haitian children just as they apply to families everywhere. Children in the Starfish Orphanage are given a Christian upbringing, complete with biblical instruction and Christian values.