"Every CHILD deserves a HOME."
Fondation Enfant Jésus (FEJ) has been recognized as a top-tier child welfare institution in Haiti by Institut du Bien-Être Social et de la Recherche (IBESR). Child protection is our primary focus. FEJ believes that every abandoned or orphaned child deserves a loving home with parents who provide care, education, and security.
Many of the children in our care have had a difficult start in life. Our programs provide the children with holistic services to meet their growing needs, including their physical development, health, education, and socioemotional well-being. FEJ strives to be the “bridge” that ensures every child has access to a new beginning and the opportunity to fulfill his/her potential.
FEJ is dedicated to saving and improving the lives of Haitian children in need. We want every child to understand that s/he is appreciated and deserves to be loved and cherished. We believe that our children have great potential to achieve their goals in life.
"Every child is an ambassador for Haiti."
Our vision is to provide a future filled with hope to orphaned or abandoned children in Haiti. We find loving families for our children - and not children for families.
FEJ feels strongly that institutional settings do not provide the same level of support for children’s cognitive, socioemotional, and physical development that a family does. As a result, we seek, first, to reunite children with their own families, and if that is not possible, we work with national and international adoption agencies to place them in homes where they will be nurtured and loved.
For those children who are not fortunate enough to be adopted, we provide love, character development, schooling, and opportunities to learn valuable skills that will enable them to become self-sufficient and to positively contribute to Haitian culture and society.
FEJ uses a holistic approach to ensure that children’s physical, cognitive and social emotional needs are met. We do the same for the programs that we offer to support women, strengthen families, and build stronger communities. Our child protection program works on three tiers:
- Children: FEJ provides for the immediate health and emotional needs of the children at the center in Port au Prince and the crèche in Kenscoff. Our children live in a stable environment with a particular routine, balanced meals, and enrichment activities, which enable them to feel loved and secure.
- Staff: FEJ staff is a multidisciplinary group of professionals employed to meet individual and collective needs of children. FEJ hires locally and provides training and professional development to ensure the highest quality of service delivery.
- Community: FEJ continues to work to improve the development of the surrounding villages, including programs that support nutrition, education, empowerment of women, and micro-business development.
FEJ operates two creches, or short-term orphanages. The first creche, named the William Jefferson Clinton Children’s Center, is being built in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council. The center will provide immediate shelter, rehydration, and advanced medical care for infants as well as assessment of eligibility for adoption. The 7,5000 foot facility will operate off the grid as the first LEED-certified orphanage in Haiti. It will serve approximately 25 infants per month and will replace our transitional orphanage that was destroyed by the 2010 earthquake.
The second crèche, Creche Enfant Jesus, is located in Obléon, Kenscoff in the mountains of Haiti. The facility is spacious, comfortably accommodating many children and providing the necessary care. It includes recreational areas for toddlers and older children as well as dedicated land for growing nutritious fruits and vegetables and raising small farm animals for consumption.
Both sites operate primarily through individuals who are hired and trained locally. Most of the construction and maintenance staff also come from the villages which creates jobs and new skills for villagers.
FEJ also established a structure for volunteers, including caregivers, doctors and technicians, who offer their time and talent to enhance the health care, socioemotional support, and recreation the children receive.
Crèche Enfant Jesus provides care for newborns, infants, and children up to the age of six who have been neglected, abandoned or orphaned. Our children are supported by international standards of care that define a certain quality of life. FEJ also creates a life plan for every child.
FEJ has established a multidisciplinary team that deals with the admission of children to the Crèche Enfant Jesus through the IBESR. Children accepted into the crèche, per IBESR approval, include:
- Abandoned children
- Children orphaned by one or both parents
- Children whose families are in extreme situations and cannot meet the most basic needs
- Children infected with HIV or special needs children (i.e., blindness, hydrocephalus, mental retardation, among others)
After the legal deadline and a review of the child’s life plan, the child is placed for integration into a family locally or internationally. Potential new parents must meet the requirements of Haitian law, international adoption laws, and the laws of their own country. IBESR will match an adoptive family to the child once all criteria have been met. A general overview of the process is detailed below:
- An adoption agency, accredited in Haiti, must send the complete record of the postulant to IBESR.
- IBESR will review the record and, if approved, a child will be matched with the adoptive family, depending on availability.
- The adoptive family will visit the child at the creche and complete a socialization visit, per IBESR requirements.
- After the report of the multidisciplinary team of IBESR, the case will eventually be approved for legal adoption. At this point, it is requested that the adoptive family sponsor the care of their child and adoption fee until all the adoption procedures are completed.
FEJ works with the adoptive family to build a bridge for the child from the crèche to their forever family. Here are a few important things to know as the adoption process moves forward:
- A monthly report on the child will be sent home the first week of each month. This includes a new photo, update on the adoption process, and a development report that addresses the child' s medical, social, psychological, and motor development, including the particular progress the child has made.
- FEJ encourage parents to visit, send photos and/or family albums, and write to their child. This allows to the staff at the creche to prepare the child to leave the creche and be ready to go into the house of their new family.
- The biological parents have the right to visit their children once a month from the day of admission until the consent to the adoption is enlightened and freely given.
- Once the adoption process is completed, FEJ recommends that adoptive parents travel to Haiti and spend at least a week at the creche to ease the child's transition.
- A report of how the child is adjusting to his/her new home is required on a regular basis by the Haitian adoption laws.