Latest News

My Life And What MFO Means To Me — A Letter From Blanc Probus

I am Blanc Probus.  I am in 9th grade at Saint Andre High School.  To let you know more about me I was born in a poor family.  By the grace of God, I got a chance to enter an Orphanage which is called MFO – Maison Fortune Orphanage. The Founder’s name is Lefort Jean Louis and he helps a lot of people in Haiti

The orphanage has two campuses and the girls and the boys help the leaders manage us.  Jean Louis is the main leader, and he allows us to sit out for movies during our vacation .He also won’t let us play soccer during the exam time – the entire time we must study.  Jean Louis encourages us to focus on school to be successful in school for life.

MFO helps us with many things like food, school, bed, shoes and clothes.  For me MFO is one of the best places in Haiti where children can have hope for a successful future. When you are sick and you feel like you have no energy just come visit us at MFO – we will fill you up with energy!

Jean Louis is proud of us and he endeavors to do his best in every way.  He shows us how to share the love.  With all my heart I love MFO and I ask God to protect us from every evil, to bless the staff of MFO, our sponsors, and to keep MFO alive! Thank you for spending your time to read my little story and the story of Maison Fortune Orphanage.

Maison FortunéMy Life And What MFO Means To Me — A Letter From Blanc Probus
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If These Walls Could Talk!

If you have been to Maison Fortune you know that our young boys are housed in three original buildings towards the back of our campus.  These buildings each can accommodate 18 children in bunks with lockers for their personal items.  These three buildings also provide many “firsts” for the boys who find themselves in our care.   They provide a bed to call their own, a leak proof roof, and a place to fall asleep with a full belly.

If these walls could talk, they would also tell stories.  Stories of our first 30 boys who took up residence in 2004 when the campus was first purchased.  Stories of watching little boys play, pray and begin to grow into young men.  They have watched chess tournaments won (and lost) and have been witness to many soccer games!  They also provide light by which to study for an upcoming exam, and place to keep a few belongings safe and sound so everyone has something to call their own.

To this day these three buildings continue their service to our campus.  Providing shelter, watching our boys grow and allowing them to sleep safely away from the street.

But they are also showing their wear.  They need our HELP!! They need YOU! 

Over the years standing up to winds, floods, and hurricanes the ground around the buildings has started to wash away and the walls have started to crumble at the foundation.  With the help of a local engineer we have determined that one of the best ways to sure up the walls and allow the building to keep our boys safe will be to fill in the area around each building with a concrete pad.  This solution is multipurpose.  In addition to reinforcing the buildings foundations it will cut down on the dust and the mites that live in the dirt – currently the main playground area for playing and studying … this is our chance to change that.    Laying down concrete will give our boys higher ground on which to play their games and be better for their health.  This enhancement to save these original three buildings while allowing for alternate safer playing spaces is estimated to cost $30,000.

We appreciate your consideration to make a specific donation to this important project and keep our buildings telling stories of the boys they house and keep safe for years to come. Please give to the needs of MFO today!

Maison FortunéIf These Walls Could Talk!
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Latest News from Haiti and MFO

We want to THANK ALL OF YOU who have reached out to inquire about the current protests that are occurring in Haiti and how you can help.

First and foremost we want to assure you that our children are safe in Hinche, and currently we have security as well as food reserves on campus.  The unrest in the country is changing rapidly and we are in constant contact with the Leadership Team at MFO – and following all news coverage very closely. As this situation continues to evolve, our focus is to provide support for Jean Louis and the MFO family to help them through this very difficult time.  If you would like to learn more and follow an informed news report, a consistent source has been reporter Jacqueline Charles from the Miami Herald on the Haiti News Page at the link below:  https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/haiti/

We will continue to monitor all activity and provide updates that we can get from the  MFO Leadership Team. We ask that you pray for safety and solutions to prevail for the people of Haiti.  Thank you all for your constant support and prayers for MFO.

Maison FortunéLatest News from Haiti and MFO
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A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words…And We Couldn’t Agree MORE!

The faces and smiles of our MFO family speak volumes to ALL that YOU, the corner piece of our puzzle, have done to grow MFO in 2018.

Here are a few highlights that will bring a smile to YOUR face as we get ready for 2019!

Our Scout Troop — Catherin Flon, named after the women who sewed the first Haitian Flag, celebrated their third anniversary!
Every year, our Scouts enjoy activities including: leadership training, an overnight summer camping trip and weekly Saturday meetings.
Our 6th grade class had a perfect graduation rate – with all 26 students moving on to the 7th grade! This Fall we welcomed our newest crop of preschoolers numbering 38 in ALL!
Our Primary School continues to accept local residents without cost – this means families in Hinche don’t need to choose between providing education or food to their children – they can have both!
We have 86 high school students, with 6 expected to graduate to their Final Philo year in June 2019.

MFO is a busy place! All of this is happening plus our daily operations are running full steam ahead…three meals a day, laundry washed and dried, shoes on the feet and most importantly making sure all water wells are in working order, latrines are safe, and our clinic is ready to care for our kids AND keep them healthy!

Speaking of Latrines – due to your most gracious giving and support of our emergency appeal, we have completed installing new toilets and a shower area for our Girls Campus! You’ll be pleased to know that we have also received a special grant for security upgrades to ensure our Girls’ well being and provide them with a secure campus.

As we get started on our 2019 adventure we are grateful to have you joining us and can’t wait to share our stories of smiles and hope!

THANK YOU for making these dreams come true for all of us!

Maison FortunéA Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words…And We Couldn’t Agree MORE!
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My, How Time Flies!

A Note From Mary Kwasniewski, MFOF Executive Director

When I was younger, I always thought it was strange when adults said “Time flies!” Now as an older adult myself, I say it all the time, including this month when I was reminded that I’ve been part of the Maison Fortune family for more than four years! Wow, time flies!

Mary K. with Mama

Ashley Horner, Jean Louis, Mary K.

Jean Louis and Mary K.

Oday was nine when I started and now he’s thirteen years old, in the sixth grade and growing a little taller each time I visit. Gilberson was in fifth grade; he’s now in ninth grade and an amazing math whiz! Mary Denise was in eleventh grade and now she is studying to be a nurse at University Notre Dame in Hinche. Tchi Tchi was the “new boy” four years ago – one of the first boys I met when I arrived. He is now in the third grade and so many new boys and girls have followed behind him.

Mary K. and Oday

Mary K. and Gilberson

Mary K. and Mary Denise

Mary K. and Tchi Tchi

In the process of working with Jean Louis to move our children to a better future, I often find myself thinking about priorities. We can’t fund everything. We can’t be everything these kids need. So I think, if we can just do one thing, what should be the one thing we do for Haiti’s future leaders?

We should give them hope.

Hope is what Maison Fortune cultivates. We don’t make the kids smarter; we don’t make them faster or stronger. But we do take away fear. Fear of where the next meal is coming from. Fear that they won’t be able to go to school. Fear that they won’t have a safe place to sleep that night. We take away the fear and doubt and replace it with hope, so they can learn, play and grow. Like kids are supposed to do.

Time flies — Haiti’s leaders are coming — don’t miss out — become a part of it! I hope you will join us!

Give Hope Today!  

Maison FortunéMy, How Time Flies!
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We Need Help: Girls Campus – Septic System Repair Project

Last week we had an unforeseen event at MFO — our Girls Campus septic system failed. The system that was in place was not built to handle the number of girls we currently have at MFO. This system failure has impacted the lives of the girls and the staff at the campus. We started immediately to build an additional septic system, but this is a new, unexpected expense, and we simply don’t have the resources to solve this problem on our own.

 WE NEED YOUR HELP! The cost to repair the septic system is $10,000 – or only $111 per girl!  With your help we can make sure our girls have a safe and sanitary place to call home and become Haiti’s future leaders!

We are asking all of you once again if you or someone you know can please help us repair the septic system for the girls. On behalf of all our girls we are once again counting on your generosity and thank you in advance for you willingness to help with this worthy cause. You can donate DIRECTLY to the Septic Repair Project using the donation form below.

Background Information

In early 2008 the leaders of Maison Fortune Orphanage opened the doors for 10 girls affected by adverse situations in the community. In Haiti, the education of girls is often viewed as a secondary priority — at MFO we wanted to set the example that girls are Leaders too! In 2013, as our girl population grew we permanently moved to the location we now call the Girls Campus. Today at MFO we care for 90 girls, we have added new space for beds, purchased more mattresses and maintained the facility with new paint and concrete repairs.

When you have the comforts of a home and fresh meals each day, it’s easy to forget that many people around the world do not. Our children at MFO have many needs, and we work diligently to manage, monitor and allocate the funds that come from our supporters to the most critical projects to ensure the safety and welfare of our children. Sometimes, however, just like at your home — life can throw you some curveballs!

Please Donate to the Septic Repair Project

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Maison FortunéWe Need Help: Girls Campus – Septic System Repair Project
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Ashley Horner’s 50 Ironman Journey Starts Aug. 12

We’re thrilled to share the press release below about Ashley Horner’s latest efforts to support the Maison Fortuné Orphanage in Haiti!

ASHLEY HORNER EMBARKS ON JOURNEY TO COMPLETE 50 IRONMANS IN 50 DAYS FOR THE MAISON FORTUNE ORPHANAGE

Ashley Horner To Become First Woman to Complete 50 Ironmans in 50 Days to Raise Awareness and Funds For the Children of Haiti

New York, NY – July 30, 2018 – On August 12, Ashley Horner, a fitness celebrity, athlete, entrepreneur and mom of three, will begin her journey to be the first woman to complete 50 full Ironmans in 50 days to raise awareness and funds for the Maison Fortuné Orphanage (MFO) in Haiti. Ashley will start and end in Haiti and travel to each of the 48 Continental United States, each day completing a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bicycle ride and 26.2-mile run, with the goal to raise $100,000 for MFO.

“Fitness is the driving force of everything I do and feel like it’s my responsibility to use my platform for a bigger purpose, a purpose for good,” said Ashley Horner “I fell in love with the people of Haiti the first time I visited – their spirit, storytelling, and pride for being Haitian will inspire me as I do my small part for the children at Maison Fortuné,”

The MFO Foundation raises funds to support the Maison Fortuné Orphanage in Haiti, serving the needs of orphans and underprivileged children. Each day, MFO, serves more than 700 meals, teaches more than 300 children and provides stable homes for close to 200 boys and girls. Ashley recently began working with MFO and has visited the orphanage many times with her own children. In 2017, Ashley raised $65,000 for the foundation by completing a 230-mile run along the western border of Haiti.

“Maison Fortuné is proud to have Ashley Horner as a partner and friend, as she embarks upon her endeavor to complete 50 Ironmans in 50 Days,” says Lefort Jean-Louis, founder of MFO. “Ashley continues to put her commitment to our children into action, and like Ashley, we believe that the power for change comes from community.”

Ashley is no stranger to pushing boundaries. She played soccer on the Guam national team, has sold over one million copies of her fitness training programs and owns American Sled Dogs, a fitness facility in Virginia Beach, VA. In-between her entrepreneurial endeavors and raising her three boys, Ashley has completed many other charity fitness events to benefit families of fallen military members, police working dogs and victims of human trafficking. In the last year and a half, Ashley has completed a 1,350 mile bike ride, climbed Mt. Rainer and ran 230 miles in 72 hours, all for charity.

Ashley’s journey begins on August 12 and ends on October 4 in Haiti. To donate to Ashley’s fundraising initiative click here and to learn more about Ashley visit www.ashleyhorner.co.

Maison FortunéAshley Horner’s 50 Ironman Journey Starts Aug. 12
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Ashley Horner Plans New Fundrasier

We are constantly amazed by MFO partner, friend, and donor Ashley Horner.  Since she first started helping our orphanage she has been a fearless champion of the MFO kids, developing relationships with the boys and girls, as well as the entire Hinche community.  If you’ve followed the MFO story over the past few years, you know Ashley sets big goals, and then crushes them!

In the Spring of 2017 she ran ​230 miles ​miles around the western border of Haiti, planning to raise $28,000. But Ashley never shirks a challenge, so when the $28,000 goal was reached during the run, she doubled-down and increased the goal to $56,000!  Seventy-two hours after starting, Ashley and her supporters had crushed the new goal and raised over $64,000!

Her involvement is more than raising money, though. Ashley is committed to our MFO community.  She believes in our efforts, whether it’s welcoming children from the community to attend our primary school or making sure we lift up the local economy by shopping locally for items we need to support the children.  She knows we are raising the future leaders of Haiti and through her repeat visits (including with her own boys), she has seen the need first hand and knows that local involvement is crucial to the orphanage’s success.  She also understands that a little money goes a long way, and a lot of funding can go even farther.

“I fell in love with the people of Haiti the first time I touched down.  Their spirit, their storytelling, their sense of identity around being Haitian.  It will inspire me as I do my small part to bring awareness and funds to create opportunities for the children at Maison Fortune,” said Ashely.

So this year when Ashley said she wanted to do another fundraiser, we knew she would go all-in. And is she ever!  Soon Ashley will launch a 50-day warrior woman effort – completing 50 Ironman challenges in 50 days, to raise money for the children of Maison Fortune.  It’s a Herculean challenge – one that is already receiving national attention, including a feature on USA Today.  We couldn’t be prouder of Ashley, or more appreciative of her commitment to the children and future of Haiti.

Look for more news about the Woman of Iron in the coming weeks!

Maison FortunéAshley Horner Plans New Fundrasier
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We’re Off To A Great Start!

unnamed-1This time of the year not only is a time for celebrating but also the time to welcome VISITORS to our campus. This is a key part to our success and our ability to keep offering the services we do. When our story becomes your story we all win!

The orphanage becomes a second home to individuals reaching out to learn more about our mission to larger groups that are seeking an organization to help.The MFO boys and girls cherish the love and time volunteers spend with them during this season. Personal experiences lead to the best stories and we are thankful that upon returning to the states so many of you share our story with others!

We have many plans in store for 2018:

· assisting in the successful graduation of 5 MFO Alumni completing their senior year in college,

· renewing our commitment to education for our primary school ensuring we continue our high standards,

· and we will begin to look at ways to reach out into the community to make sure children that don’t need to be in our care can be placed back with family members or other primary care givers.

With all of this on our plate we also will continue to work to meet the daily needs of food, shelter and security for all of those in our care. The help of volunteers who bring not only their time and love but also supplies of clothing, hygiene items and toys this work is not only possible it is happening every day! We are so thankful for our community and we look forward to 2018 – our 18th year of service together to the Haitian Community!

Maison FortunéWe’re Off To A Great Start!
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Graduation Day: December 3, 2017 – University of Notre Dame Haiti

Haiti is a complicated country with complicated problems, but fortunately, the answer to this question is simple.   Focus on educating Haiti’s youth.  Educating the children – young and old of Haiti is the single most important thing that Maison Fortune does—period.   If Haiti’s circumstances are ever going to change then it’s the educated Haitian youth that will drive that change. We firmly believe that the education these young people receive with the support of the MFO Foundation will make a difference in their lives and their communities.

On December 3, 2017, we had the privilege of watching our very own MFO residents receive their diplomas from the University of Notre Dame Haiti. Take a minute to listen to one of our graduates. Johnny Metellus came to Maison Fortuné Orphanage as a small boy, and on December 3, 2017, he was part of the first ever graduating class of students in the University Notre Dame Haiti”s Medical Biology program! It is because of supporters like you that we are able to open these doors of opportunity for students like Johnny.

Video and Photos: MFOF Volunteer Photographer and Videographer Eva Fuze

 

Maison FortunéGraduation Day: December 3, 2017 – University of Notre Dame Haiti
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