In the midst of the all of the light bulbs, projects, and phone calls, Regency has continued its humanitarian efforts in Haiti. Here's an update on the progress at the Regency Orphanage. If you're interested in partnering with us through contributions or joining us on a trip to Haiti, please contact us.
There is an old English proverb that states “time heals all wounds.” In the case of the children who call the Regency Orphanage their home, this seems to be a verifiable fact. On February 9, 2017, Regency welcomed the first six restavek children to the Regency Orphanage. In Creole, restavek means “to live with” and refers to situations where families give their children away because they cannot afford to care for them. These children quickly become child slaves used for labor or even sex and are badly beaten by their so-called caretakers.
Children make their home at the orphanage
These first six children came to us while the third Regency team was in Haiti, helping with the construction of the classrooms. The team was on hand and excited to welcome each one of them.
By April, 2017, the orphanage was home to 55 kids. These precious children were still in the early stages of their transition from abuse to one of love, care, and acceptance by a committed staff. That same month, a small Regency team traveled to Haiti to document and photograph the project, and I had the opportunity to join the trip.
When I looked into the kids' faces, the trauma and fear in their eyes were unquestionable. They were also being treated for various skin and viral ailments and many of them still showed signs of protein deficiency. Yet, their emotional healing had begun because of the love and care they were receiving.
By September, 2017, when the fifth Regency team returned to the orphanage to build desks, benches, and bookcases, the change in the kids was remarkable. There were now 83 children residing at the orphanage. They had grown. They were thriving, healthy, and happy. Best of all were the broad smiles that lit up their faces when they saw us. “Blanc! Blanc!” as they affectionately called us, became music to team members’ ears.
Owners, Ron Regenstreif, Mike Goldstone, and Scott Anderson were part of this 13-member team. It was a heart-warming experience for our two co-founders to make their first humanitarian trip together. A highlight of this trip was the opportunity to see the children start school. None of these kids had ever been to school, but what a gift to them that would change the trajectory of their lives.
The next building project
Regency's sixth team recently returned from Haiti, with an opportunity to serve and meet the now 85 kids –– ranging in age from four to 14 years –– that call the Regency Orphanage home. The team's assignment was to build and erect the trusses for the roof of the pavilion, for the second orphanage, on the land Regency purchased just across the street from the existing orphanage.
Once this second orphanage is built, both orphanages will hold 200 children. Construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018.
The team was able to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the orphanage with the children on February 9, 2018. How wonderful it was to see those first six original kids. The life in their eyes and healthy bodies defined the reason why Regency Lighting continues to “build for a purpose.”
Two more team trips have been scheduled for Haiti in 2018 to help complete the construction of the second orphanage.
A beaming Ron Regenstreif recently shared this with our employees, “One of the highlights of these trips is when our employees, vendors, customers, and friends join our teams. To co-labor in business and in Haiti is a dream. It just doesn’t get better than this!”
Will you join us?
To hear more about our projects or to join one of our teams, please contact us here.