• Ridgewood Rotary

Free The Kids


For more than 20 years, The Rotary Club of Ridgewood AM has been and advocate and supporter of one of the largest orphanages in Haiti. The Free the Kids and Pwoje Espwa Sud’s mission is to alleviate the devastating effects of poverty on vulnerable children in Southern Haiti by:

  • Ensuring these children’s essential needs are met (food, clothing, shelter, medical care)

and

  • Preparing them to live independent, productive lives (education/vocational).



Pwoje Espwa Sud (PES) is currently supporting nearly 300 children, aged 1 year to 20 years, both in our family preservation and in our residential care programs. In addition, the six PES schools educate approximately 1500 non-resident students whose parents are unable to afford alternatives. The Haitian government does not have resources to provide any help for these children, and many would be living on their own were it not for Pwoje Espwa.


Free the Kids and Pwojè Espwa Sud are guided by some basic, yet demanding principles: We do not give money blindly, as that practice can create a culture of dependency amongst those in need. Rather, we attempt to instill a sense of pride in the daily accomplishments of our children and staff, promoting long-term progress. Personal empowerment and holistic development are our mission.


We aim to measure our success by how our investments have changed a single child, a family, a group of children, or, in this case, an entire generation of children in both the short and long term. Several of our former residents have gone on to vocational school or university; one is completing medical school and will subsequently return to run our clinic. Others have trained in trade and found employment. We strive to help each of our children meet their potential in education, but most importantly we provide the reality of a roof over their head, clean water to drink, medical care, dental care, a quality school to attend and hope for the future. It is our sincere hope that our projects outlast and perseveres far beyond our mortal lives.


Read more about our Core Values.


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