Pastor Andre and Rennwish
Place of Hope , Petite Rivere

Our Construction Funding Goal for 2010:
(click here for Phase One details...)
Project Background Latest Updates Our Task Gallery Video of the effort
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Monthly Budget Short Term Goals Long Term Goals Staff How to help

About Pastor Andre and his Orphanage


Pastor Andre has had a dream to build an orphanage since childhood, and we are pleased to assist not only fulfill his dream, but rather the dreams of children who would otherwise be living on the streets or sold off as Haitian restaveks.  As many may remember, Project Rennwish and Pastor Andre began construction in 2006/2007, and through a series of events, we were once again after the earthquake in Haiti, asked by Pastor Andre to become involved in the completion of his dream.  Frankly, this was the first project that Rennwish ever undertook in Haiti, and in many ways, it feels like "we are home" once again with Pastor Andre and his children, as his vision well complements our own ethics and beliefs.

In short, we are thrilled to be in partnership with Andre once again.


Phase One

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The construction will proceed in identifiable phases.  Phase One completion consists of:

- Finish construction of the first floor of main building;
- Install electrical circuits;
- Purchase and install electrical generator (diesel);
- Purchase and install water pump & holding tanks;
- Build a driveway from main gate to main house;
- Contract metal worker to construct the main security gate;
- Purchase additional beds and knock-out closets;
- Purchase dining room tables/chairs, eating utensils;
- Buy seed for garden & gardening utensils;
- Install a computer with an Internet connection (satellite);
- Purchase additional livestock; and
- Build outbuilding for community water center.


The Vision

Rennwish is not in the "business" of building orphanages.  But rather, we are aggressively investing in the youth of Haiti through Pastor Andre, Pwoje Espwa and Pastor Vilnor for these children to become:

  • Self sufficient;

  • Responsible citizens in the  Haitian community and the larger worldwide society;

  • Morally and ethically responsible for their actions; and

  • Teaching values and sharing knowledge that will invigorate them to actively improve their own society.

Therefore, the children at Place of Hope we believe will go on through life to become leaders in the Haitian community at large.  While there are many core concepts in attaining those goals, below are just a few examples:

  • Children will be taught to grow and harvest products outside the conventional crop of "corn";

  • Modern technology (computers) will be taught and embraced;

  • Concepts such as "composting" and "recycling" will be taught and practiced; and

  • Children will garden, raise chickens, pigs and goats - and have daily tasks assigned.


Project Background

If someone had approached me several years ago and stated that I'd be involved with a worldwide endeavor to build an orphanage in Haiti alongside a Pastor, I would uttered "aww - gaffaw" and moved on.  But sometimes - truth is stranger than fiction....

But that was then, and this is now.

Now - there are nearly fifty children cared for by "Place of Hope" Haiti.  Many lived in the three-room shack that served as the main house for sometime, and other children are placed in families until our task to construct the new building and facilities is complete.  Daily meals consist of rice and beans, or beans and rice.  The meal menu is sometimes varied for just rice, or depending what can be afforded or available from the local food distribution facility.

Shasa outside the previous orphanage
(click on image for larger version)


Our Task

We have tasked ourselves to finish the main facility to  house up to eighty children and two staff members.  Today, 17 acres has been acquired through private funding.  On site today - a hand-dug well is complete ((82 meters in depth, 1.5 meters in circumference) and yes, this was dug by hand) and the main building that was started in 2007 is nearing completion.  Below is the location, in the South of Haiti on the side of a mountain:

Click on picture for larger view

Photo of the current unfinished orphanage. 

Estimated Remaining Construction Costs - First floor - Phase One
Building specifics:
52.65' x 90.7'
10 bedrooms (2 staff, 80 children)
2 full baths, 2 half-baths
 Dining room
food storage (pantry)
computer/library/education center

non-enclosed cement platform
Sub-Total Remaining General Building Materials (brick & cement) $32,635.00
Sub-Total  - Electrical, plumbing, water filtration, pumps,
holding tanks, electrical boxes, wiring, conduit,
panels, fixtures, etc.
Total remaining Construction Cost
(Materials, Labor, electric, plumbing, water filtration, etc.)
Total Fixtures (beds, stove, water pump, gate,
toilets, wash basins, etc.)
Total Budget $70,020.00


Monthly Operational Budget


Monthly Budget - 80 children & Staff (Phase one)


US $


Total Food & Staples




Total Household Items




Total Utilities




Total Clothing




Total Education




Total Staff




Total Monthly




Short Term Goals

As an update, we have already established and attained several milestones in realizing the short term goal of construction of the primary building:

  • The orphanage is properly registered and filed with the Haitian Government;

  • Seventeen acres of undeveloped land has been purchased;

  • Local permits for construction have been acquired;

  • A rudimentary access road to the construction site has been cleared;

  • A ground-well has been dug and will provide water to the facilities and vegetable gardens;

  • Building of the main facility has begun with private funds. The formers and several walls of the first level are complete; and

  • A security gate and wall has been started at the entrance.

(click on image for larger picture)
Adrien inspects the fresh water well as it nears completion.  
It is 82 meters deep (282 feet) and was dug by hand by the 
fellow on the left with two assistants.  The boulders in 
the back were brought up using a simple hand pulley system.

It is our intent to have the main building facility complete in 2010. To do so, we must:

  • Raise the money for the remaining construction costs (see budget above);

  • Purchase beds, linens, shelving and rudimentary furnishings;

  • Purchase and install an electrical water pump;

  • Construct a small "out building" for a generator and tool storage shack;

  • Purchase and install a water purification system for the main house (and pipeline it down to the main entrance for the local community families during specific times of the day);

  • Purchase and install cooking appliances (propane) and utensils; and

  • Purchase five computers and install satellite Internet connectivity; and

  • Acquire and catalog books (in French and English) for various age levels.

The items above are contained in the preliminary budget(s) shown above.


Long Term Goals

We have spent quite a bit of time considering the "long term" goals of what we are trying so desperately to achieve. Much of our opinion has been shape and forged with dozens of comments provided recently in an open thread on an Internet site. To those who took the time to provide insight, thoughts, direction and support, simply - "thank you". Had we more to give but a simple heartfelt thanks, you would have it. But, at the same time we are speechless at the outpouring of kindness.

There are several long term goals, each with its own merit and justification. In short, Place of Hope is not a "way station" or a simple stepping stone where a child is fed, housed, clothed and the basic necessities of life provided. Rather, Place of Hope must become the pinnacle of their life whereby their actions as adults, later in life will be measured by life's lessons taught and learned while in our care.

Therefore, each child will:

  • Have responsibility to their brothers and sisters as a "role model" and leader;

  • Take responsibility for their own actions and understand the consequences of their actions;

  • Be educated and stimulated to learn by their peers, their proctors and the process of learning;

  • Be guided in a positive fashion;

  • To understand what is morally right in spite of peer pressure and social norms; and

  • To provide the tools to enter society as an influential and productive citizen within their own community, their own nation and within the world as a whole.

At the same time, it is incumbent upon Place of Hope to take an active role within its own community. Therefore, we will:

  • Build and provide the facilities for a Medical Clinic on site. Open to the community, we will endeavor to provide accountable and free medical services on a weekly basis, meeting the basic health needs of the community;

  • Build a staff and visitor center so that resident staff may be on-site while their current rooming becomes available to additional children. We also envision two rooms for Child Sponsors and visitors to the orphanage;

  • Community Center Building. A larger facility which will serve local Pastors on Sunday and community gatherings throughout the week;

  • Pre-school and day care center;

  • After school language lessons.  Provide each child with the verbal and written skills necessary to participate within the world. Haitian Creole is the national language, and at the same time, is not understood, recognized nor used outside Haiti.  It is critical that children under our care speak and read French and are able to have a basic English language skill set;

  • Evolve the facility into it's own eco-friendly environment. This requires vegetables, herbs and produce be grown and cultivated on-site, and at the same time, teaches the children the value of being responsible for its success.  For example, if the tomato crop fails - there are no tomatoes at mealtime;

  • Take these same ideals, and spread them into the surrounding community.



Current Staff

Current Staff
Wilna is the resident "house mother", caring for the daily needs of the children including cooking, mending the clothes, providing warmth and love to all the children. Louis Adrien - "Adrien" is one of the key staff.  He buys the food, provides transportation and is "on-call" 24/7.  When there is an overflow at the orphanage, Adrien also opens his small apartment to the children - which is typically every day & night. "Junior" is the most recent addition to the Place of Hope staff - and we hope that he decides to stay on!  This young man is a role model for all the children and trained in several areas.  He is responsible for the gardens, cultivation and composting efforts. 



Latest Updates

The McCall Clan Visit

On Sunday and Monday (January 31 and February 1, 2010) - we were delighted to have Brooke & Beth McCall and Grant Connealy, all from Orange County, CA visit the orphanage.  Their Dad (Pat McCall) we also owe a huge debt of thanks to for his incredible efforts to deliver food and medical supplies to the people of Les Cayes and the orphans.  Pictured above (L to R) is Wilna (housemother to all the children and Pastor Andre's daughter), Grant, a few of the children, Brooke and on the far right, the elder Madame.  

We will update this area with more about the "McCall Clan" in the next day or so...


The "Work Crew"
January 2010

During my visit the week of January 25th - February 3, 2010, Andre, Adrien and I decided it was time to have the children do a project, as school was closed due to the earthquake.  The work assignment was to fill about 18 large holes in the front yard of the orphanage - which were about 4x4x4 feet!  They were some LARGE holes!  So, Adrein and I purchased a pick-axe, shovel, machete and an axe, wheelbarrow and other implements from the farmer down the road - and the children set to work.

While I gave them 10 days to finish the project - they completed it in just TWO DAYS!  Their reward?  A wonderful looking front yard and each of the 30 "workers" got a small bag of peanuts.  The "foreman" of this work project was "Junior" - shown below in the #22 jersey...