MEET THE FAMILY
We are thrilled to introduce you to the wonderful individuals who make up diverse and continually growing D2C Family. From the children in our care to our Founder and ED, to the wonderful women who make up our board to our hard working and compassionate core staff. Learn more about the many hearts and faces of D2C below.
Since its founding in 2012, the D2C Foundation provides a long-term Family Home for vulnerable children identified by the community who were abandoned, orphaned or forced to work in domestic servitude (Restaveks).
Haitian children brought into the D2C Family Home will never be put up for adoption. Instead, they have been “adopted” into the D2C Family and will be brought up in a nurturing environment surrounded by their own community and culture. In addition to shelter, nutritious food, clothing, and psycho-social care, the children are provided with the best available education to help support their future.
It is our belief that offering a more natural environment for the children will allow them to maintain a place in their communities. By attending school with other Haitian children and engaging in safe, healthy interaction with other community members, the divide that is so often created when children are raised in a segregated orphanage setting will be lessened.
The success of our model is evident in the bonds that have been created between the children and caretakers in our Family Home. The children show signs of emotional and physical growth, and incredible strides towards stability.
Sheelove is a bright light from a grim past. Upon meeting her, she was living with her grandmother and two other people in a room that hardly had room for a bed and dresser. Her mother died from AIDS and she never met her father. Thankfully, her grandmother was around to watch her, but without an income or help from family, Sheelove succumbed to serious sickness that went unacknowledged. Sheelove had severe iron deficiency and parasitic illnesses, but her grandmother could not afford the medicines. When Sheelove became a part of the D2C family home she was said to be six-years-old, but her physical appearance and cognitive abilities were greatly impacted by years of malnutrition.
Today , Sheelove is a feisty and sweet character. She can out-eat anyone in the house, but she is also the first to share her last. She’s generous and incredibly funny. She is outspoken and very warm with anyone she meets. Her favorite subject is French and you can usually find her by the sound of her laughter. Usually the life of the party, our sensitive girl loves to dance and is a natural leader.
ALYCHA ‘s past has not been the ruling factor in her success today. In the past, she suffered cruel on-going physical abuse from the hands of her step father. Due to their poverty, Alycha’s mother decided to send her away to work as a restevak when she was very young. Her mother worked as hard as she could to protect her daughter but lost the battle and came to D2C in desperation.
Alycha is an incredibly intelligent and inquisitive girl who loves to study History. She is the type of person to pull you aside and gently dig into who you are as a person. She’ll ask you questions about how you grew up, where you’re from, what makes you laugh the hardest-- and remember every word. She’s a gentle spirit who works to assure that everyone feels comfortable. Once you get to know her you’ll learn that her biggest dream is to travel the world, for now she does this through learning about the world of strangers.
DARWENDY was abandoned by his mother several years ago when she left for the Dominican Republic. His father was unknown and Darwendy was left in the care of his grandfather. Darwendy would spend days neglected and isolated because his grandfather would leave him in the house alone while he worked in the fields. A Canadian man who came to Haiti doing charity work met Darwendy and supported him. However, when he returned to Canada he reached out to D2C and asked us to take him into our home.
Darwendy is compassionate and kind. He loves animals very much and is usually trying to bring new animals to the house. Between animals, he is also very kind with the staff, usually sitting with them as they complete their tasks. Darwendy’s favorite subject is literature. He is an excellent student!
Rebecca was brought to D2C with her younger sister, Gloria, by their grandmother who was no longer able to care for them. Her grandmother spent years desperately searching for a way to care for the children, and in the process, she left Rebecca to raise herself and her sister. Sometimes her grandmother would spend days out working in the fields and leave Rebecca alone with cooked rice to feed her and her infant sister. Rebecca had trouble walking because her knees were turned inward, and she had never received any medical attention prior to joining the D2C family. After seeing a specialist, Rebecca has been doing physical exercise and now walks normally.
Today, Rebecca is the shy artist we love. She’s usually somewhere on her own or with her sister, watching things unfold around her. Rebecca is the most likely to unroll a yoga mat and finish an intense flow with the Director, and also the most likely to try to climb a tree in search of mangos. If she’s not drawing on her own, then she’s with the kids playing twister.
Gloria arrived with her older sister, Rebecca, after their grandmother could no longer care for them. After regularly leaving Gloria in the care of her sister who is only a year older, as an infant, Gloria knew she could always depend on her sister. Although she is the younger sibling, she is more extroverted than her older sister and more likely to defend them both.
Presently, Gloria is a kind comedian who is always drawing people into her theatrical world. She guides the home by being the friend everyone needs. According to Gloria, her favorite “subject” is recess and she has just started singing in her church. Although Gloria is the youngest singer in the choir by a landslide, her confidence grants her age beyond her years.
FEDNEL lived with his aunt, uncle, and six cousins after his parents died at a young age. His aunt approached D2C in hopes of finding opportunities for Fednel. She was desperate because her family was having extreme difficulty supporting him and each other. Fednel and his cousins were attending school, but they were removed from classes when they were unable to pay the $25 annual fee required to pass on to the next grade. Fortunately, D2C covered the cost of Fednel’s exams and supported his cousins, so they could all complete their exams and move forward with their schooling.
Fednel is now the oldest boy in the house and acts as such. He is the example, leading the house with the best grades and a logical mind. He is currently starting a Stand Up Paddle boarding business and has plans to be a businessman as an adult. He loves math and finds pleasure in problem solving.
DARWEN lost his mother during childbirth and when his grandmother started caring for him, she was told to let him die because others assumed he wouldn’t survive. Thankfully, his grandmother fought hard to keep him and she raised him on her own. As she grew older, it became more difficult for her to care for him physically and financially she couldn’t support the both of them with such little resources. She reached out to D2C for support and today, she continues to visit him often. However, she is happy for the opportunities he has because of D2C.
Darwen is the most likely to make you laugh. He’s loud and loves to play soccer and get people out of their shell. Between telling stories, he finds quiet time seeking justice. He is the spokesperson for the house, often mediating arguments between siblings. And of course, as a result, he wants to be a lawyer when he grows up.
LONI is the newest member of our D2C family. She was placed in the D2C Family Home by Haitian social services at the end of 2018. She is a strong, capable and lovely girl who is ready to take on the world. Loni was reportedly abandoned by her father at a home near Port Au Prince where she was overworked and beaten regularly. At the age of 8, Loni decided to leave the abusive situation and she hitched a ride over two mountain ranges to come to Jacmel in search of her father. After three nights sleeping in the streets she was reported by a concerned person and then brought to the D2C Family Home.
Devoted to Children employs a full-time Haitian staff of six people to care for our children, providing jobs for locals.