Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Challenge Grant & Harbor House News

If you're new here or uncertain of what the Harbor House is please see these two important posts:


Magarette with Ricardo and Michlanda

We're anxious to introduce you to our new House Mom, Magarette. She also goes by "Maggie".  We felt strongly early on that the house needed an older, wiser, Haitian woman that could love and lead with authority. We knew it would help to have a native Kreyol speaker that could understand some of the cultural undercurrent that we miss or just plain don't understand.

Maggie is 37 years old and comes to us with strong recommendation from friends at MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship).  She has a "power under" approach to leadership. In a culture interested in  hierarchy, it is encouraging to observe her calm countenance. We've not seen her lord her power over anyone. She seems to lead with love and grace.  She doesn't appear to need to prove anything.

The  bridge that Magarette creates cannot be underestimated. We're still transitioning her into her role but all signs point to this being a  good fit for all.

One sure sign is that the girls came to us asking to go to church with Magarette, rather than with us.

The most important thing happening at Harbor House is the daily modeling of respect, conflict resolution, child-rearing, and problem solving. The day in and day out real-life examples being shared by those of us that are living here in community with them far exceeds any teaching that takes place with pens, pencils, tutors and books.

All the babies in the house are healthy, thriving and active. The girls are calm, attentive and loving mothers.

Their parenting skills are impressive in a place where survival is first and parenting is usually a back-burner priority.  We probably appreciate their growing skills even more knowing what they've overcome in order to give these babies life and stand strong.

They will likely always parent without reliable help from the fathers of their children.

We support and guide them, but it is thrilling to see that they now also support each other.

We have three possible candidates moving in over the next several weeks, those situations are under prayer and consideration at this time. 

Currently the teen mamas/residents at the house:

Sergline and her son Jobens
Ernege and her son Makenly
Leoni - due to deliver soon
Enisse and her daughter Sophia
Fedline and her daughter Michlanda
Joanne and her son Ricardo

Living with the girls: Magarette, Marjorie and Brittany

rooftop garden


Sergline & Jobens on rooftop

Ernege and Sergline making jewelry with Maz & Cassandra (teachers)

Maggie and Marjorie

Senise and the 'Sistas' - our egg layers

The Heartline Treasurer recently received this great news:

April 2011
Dear Tom:

Thank you for submitting a grant proposal to benefit the expansion of program services at Heartline in Haiti. The people who met with John and Beth McHoul a couple of years ago were very impressed with their devotion to the poor of Port-au-Prince.

The trustees of the _______ Foundation did vote to offer Heartline a challenge grant of $15,000 to benefit the Harbor House home for teenage mothers and their children. When you have raised the $15,000 designated to Harbor House, we will match the amount dollar for dollar.

Sincerely yours,


I traded emails with Tom last week and he informed me that $3,000 of the 15K has already been raised.  That leaves only 12K to raise and we'll be able to collect on the challenge grant that was generously offered by this foundation. (They wish to remain anonymous.)

Will you consider supporting these young women and the work they're doing to improve their lives?

In Haiti many children are raising themselves with little stimulation or supervision.  It is not uncommon for children to be moved around from aunt, to grandma, to sisters and friends to be raised. The young women at Harbor House are raising their own children and are poised to make a significant impact on their country as one generation teaches another generation.

It is our hope and our belief that investing in these young mothers is investing in the future. Ten young moms raise ten secure, well-loved, well-attached children who go on to raise their own well-loved, well-attached and secure children ... and so it begins. 

Please share this program and the work these young moms are doing with others. We need your help to reach this challenge grant and receive the foundation's award.

With deep gratitude to all who give, care, pray, support, and love.

Troy & Tara Livesay