Before the earthquake, the children of Hands Together to Defend the Children (HTDC) Orphanage lived comfortably in a large house. The earthquake destroyed their home, killed the pastor who had supported the kids, and robbed the orphanage's supporters of their livelihoods.
We first met HTDC in the summer of 2010 when they were living in one small room and a tent which flooded almost daily. They were constantly short of food, and had no ability to educate or provide health care for the children.
Our first priority was to find appropriate housing. In the summer of 2010, with the help of a group of US students, we raised the first €4,813 (£3,886, $6,000) to rent a house for the orphanage for two years. The project grew from there with the help of more than 100 volunteers and almost 1,000 donors.
Since those early days, we've been able to provide the children of the orphanage with nutritious food, health care, education, and enriching activities like art and English classes. You can meet a few of the children here.
Today, more than four years after the earthquake, our focus is on helping HTDC become self-sufficient. It costs €2,772 (£2,320, $3,736) a month to meet the children's needs, and our funding is rapidly running out. This means that it’s essential that we invest in the orphanage’s ability to earn its own money and cut down on costs.
To date, we have purchased land for the orphanage where they hope to one day build their own, rent-free, home. We’re also investing in two businesses – selling eggs and running a bus rental service. Once up and running, these businesses will reduce the orphanage’s reliance on IDV by 50%.
Please give what you can to help cover these businesses start-up costs, and to continue meeting the children’s needs until the businesses are up and running. It costs just €25 (£20, $33) to feed an orphan for a month.