2014 January Update:

We spent much of 2013 tied up in the Haitian court systems, hopefully we are nearing a resolution. Three of us (myself and 2 board members) made a trip to Haiti in October to attend one of the court proceedings.   While there, we met with Charles Le Morzellec to try to resolve this situation, to no avail.  We also attempted to stop by Eden Garden Orphanage to survey the situation , but we were stopped at the gate and not allowed to enter the property.  This, among other things, solidified for us that we are no longer able to work in the town of Montrouis.  During our visit to Haiti, we scouted out some other areas for a potential new foundation and mission.  We would like to begin by running mobile medical clinics in an effort to get to know the communities to see where we could best be used before we make any permanent decisions around location or type of assistance we will provide.  We want you to know that EGO donations  (which are received by us here in the U.S.) are still being used to financially support 8 of our former Eden Garden orphans who were displaced and are being cared for at a neighboring orphanage. Christian Toussaint, (former school director) visits and checks on those children for us. Donations are also used to support 3 former EGO girls that are living with director Jean Claude Monasse and his wife, Ronise in a location far away from Montrouis.   2013 was a devastating year of loss for us, but we are looking forward to starting over in 2014 as we still feel the call of God to work in Haiti.  Please continue to check the website http://edengardenhaiti.org/ for the most current information.  Thank you for your continued support throughout this time of turmoil.  We look forward to better news and a new beginning in 2014!

Dave Wooster
Chairman and Executive Director – Eden Garden Orphanage

 


 

Dear Friends and Supporters of Eden Garden Orphanage: August 28, 2013

We wanted to provide you with an update you on the things that have happened at Eden Garden Orphanage since our last public communication dated March 27, 2013 (found below).  We have both good news and bad news to report , but we still see God’s hand at work, even in these trying times.

BAD NEWS:  Charles LeMorzellec, who founded the Eden Garden Orphanage, has closed the orphanage and has redistributed the children to various orphanages and back to their extended families in Montrouis, with  the exception of a few children still living on the compound that are members of his wife’s family. At one time, Charles hired men with guns to guard the entry to keep "our staff for the school, the orphanage, as well as our directors, out of the property". You may recall that in 2011, Charles voluntarily stepped down as director and recommended the current director, Jean Claude Monasse, for this role, as well as Christian Toussaint for the role of Director of the EGO School, titles which both men still hold. 

BOARD REMOVES CHARLES: As noted in our earlier communication, the Eden Garden Orphanage Board of Directors unanimously voted to remove Charles from the Board, and to no longer financially support him as his actions were in complete opposition to the direction given by the board. We terminated our relationship with him as he continues to act in a manner that we believe to be contrary to the best interests of our children and staff of the orphanage and our school.

GOOD NEWS:  Eden Garden Orphanage’s Director, Jean Claude and his family are safe, as is school Director, Christian Toussaint and his family. Both Directors received anonymous death threats many times, and no longer feel safe in Montrouis. We continue to have highest confidence in both of our leaders, Jean Claude and Christian, which is why we are looking for other opportunities to apply their leadership  and their desire to solve the enormous problems in Haiti by ministering to children. Jean Claude and his wife, Ronise have now settled back in Haiti in a different location, away from Port-Au-Prince and Montrouis for safety reasons. Christian and his wife Dayana are awaiting further development and plans from our organization before they move. 

Through our Haitian attorneys,  we are  currently working within the Haitian legal system to retrieve the assets that were donated to Eden Garden Orphanage, but which Charles confiscated claiming they belong to him personally. The Board disputes those claims. We want to retrieve these assets so we can begin a new mission to serve children and the community in a different area of Haiti. We plan to include a school and possibly a trade school as well. Many details of this new strategic plan are still being worked out as our situation continues to evolve. We look forward to resolving these issues so we can put all of this behind us and can get back to the work of helping the poor and vulnerable in Haiti once again. We still believe that God has called us to serve in Haiti and make a difference in the lives of the children of that country.

This is a heartbreaking outcome for all of us who have served and loved the children of the Eden Garden Orphanage. We are so thankful for all the effort and support YOU have  given to these children and this mission of poverty at the Eden Garden Orphanage and in the community of Montrouis for many years (http://edengardenhaiti.org/blog). Although we are disappointed in the turn of events, we are still committed to helping in Haiti. Currently, we are caring for the needs of 2 of our older girls who had nowhere else to turn when Charles closed the orphanage. We are thrilled that we can continue to help them have a bright future in Haiti. They are now living with Jean Claude and Ronise in their home. We have also continued to pay for some of our staff salaries such as the teachers of the Eden Garden Academy who were not permitted to complete the school year through no fault of their own.

Please pray for the children and our leaders in Haiti during the difficult times they are experiencing as this has been very upsetting for everyone. Please also pray for us as we ask where God wants us to serve. For the most up-to-date information, please continue to visit this page on our website (http://edengardenhaiti.org/urgent-news). Thank you for taking the time to read this communication and thank you for all you have done for the children of Haiti.

Regards,

Dave Wooster
Chairman and Executive Director – Eden Garden Orphanage contact@edengardenhaiti.org

 


 

To all friends and supporters of Eden Garden Orphanage: March 27, 2013

God did not promise that our tasks in this life would be easy. Supporting an orphanage and school in Haiti is hard work, so we’ve worked hard since 2010 and accomplished much for the children in the orphanage, school and community. Click here to see results >>.

As 2013 began, things looked promising as our team of volunteers completed a bathhouse to be used by the students at the school and other projects. The solar panels that have been installed over the past year have been providing consistent electricity for the orphanage. The school enrollment has remained strong.

Unfortunately, Eden Garden Orphanage has faced major challenges over the past two months. The goal of this letter is to update you on some of these challenges and the steps that are being taken to resolve them.

Jean-Claude Monasse has served as the director of the Eden Garden Orphanage in Haiti for the past two years. In February, his son was kidnapped after returning from school to their home in Port-au-Prince. After much prayer and lots of negotiation, Jean-Claude’s son was returned safely to his family.

Since the kidnapping, Jean-Claude and his family have taken a three-month sabbatical. During this sabbatical, Christian Toussaint was appointed the interim director for the orphanage. Christian has served as the principal of the Eden Garden Academy for the past two years and was recommended to the Board for this position by Charles LeMorzellec two years ago.

As you may know, Charles LeMorzellec, who founded Eden Garden Orphanage, lives near the orphanage with his current Haitian wife. He has continued to be a Board member of Eden Garden Orphanage, Inc. and involved with the orphanage. For the past two years, he has received a monthly stipend from the Eden Garden Foundation to oversee construction projects at the orphanage and coordinate community outreach activities. Despite the clear wishes of the Board of Directors, Charles LeMorzellec determined that he should retake direct control of the orphanage and school and he has done so by force with men with guns.

The Board of Directors for Eden Garden Orphanage voted to remove Charles LeMorzellec from the Board for his actions which were unbecoming for a director and directly in opposition to Board actions. The Board has also taken steps to cease all stipend payments to Charles LeMorzellec through grants provided to the Eden Garden Foundation in Haiti. In the best interest of the children at Eden Garden, the Board of Directors can no longer support the orphanage and school with Charles LeMorzellec in charge. His actions have been outside of any authority from the Board and contrary to the Board’s intentions of building a strong team led by Haitians to operate the orphanage and school. Click here for bios of Board members >>.

The situation in Haiti is extremely fluid with new rumors every day. At this time, the Board of Directors is seeking a legal solution to the matter. Jean-Claude and Christian have been working with legal counsel, church leadership and IBESR (the Haitian agency responsible for orphanages) to seek a non-violent solution through the Haitian courts.

Please know that the Board of Directors takes the safety of the children as its paramount concern and will not jeopardize their safety. However, the Board is also fully resolved that no funds will be sent from the United States to support Charles LeMorzellec.

Please keep Eden Garden Orphanage and Eden Garden Academy in your prayers as we seek to return the proper leadership and control to the orphanage and school. As the situation changes, we will provide future updates on our website: www.edengardenhaiti.org. Your continued prayers are appreciated.

Dave Wooster

Executive Director – Chairman of the Board – Eden Garden Orphanage

 

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