Looking to take your spiritual life to new heights in 2015?
A mission trip to Haiti could help with that.
Linda Adderley (née Rego), whose family is behind Feed My Lambs Ministry, is appealing for volunteers to help with an important project — replacing the tin roof on their orphanage.
She spoke with The Royal Gazette about why support from Bermudians is so instrumental to the charity.
Q: What’s the charity working on right now?
A: Right now we are looking to replace the tin roof on the orphanage. The one we put on for our orphanage several years ago was very thin and of poor quality and when the breadfruit [fruit about the size of grapefruits] dropped on the top it created holes in the roof. Because of that the children would get wet and their beds and clothes would be drenched whenever it rained. However it was the best we could do at the time.
Q: What needs to be done?
A: Currently we are looking for carpenters to volunteer their time next month to help us replace our roof on the orphanage.
More specifically we are looking for three or four carpenters.
The reason we need people to come in February is because we had a mix donated for the lumber for the roof and the shelf time on that is running out.
If we get enough volunteers we will also be building on top of the library so that the volunteers have accommodation when they come to stay with Feed My Lambs Ministry.
Q: Why is it so important that people give support?
A: Although I realise it’s a sacrifice for people to come, I encourage them to give their time to this worthy cause. You can make a real difference in these children’s lives. And when you see a child that is truly grateful, who knows that you’ve left your family to come and help them, it’s such a great feeling.
You get to see their smile and the joy that you brought into their life and there is no price that you can put on that!
Plus it’s not only helping our children in Haiti, it’s also helping our youth from Bermuda. Many young Bermudians who come with us on our mission trips to Haiti leave totally transformed and with the understanding that they’re blessed with more than enough.
Q: How have the volunteers lives changed after coming to Haiti?
A: The Spirit of Bermuda came three years ago and helped us to build a school that educates close to 700 students from grades 1-12. It was a life-changing experience for the youth.
They adopted a child for the time they were there and also fed and played with the children, taking them swimming and sharing their love.
When they first went to Haiti the young people were shocked to see the poverty and in disbelief about how little the people had and yet they were so happy.
The one thing our children [in the orphanage] had were beds and that’s the one thing they gave up to the Bermudians so they could have a bed during their stay.
The Haitian children slept on the floor.
It was an awesome thing to see how humbling it was on both sides to give and to receive. Most of the group that came didn’t want to leave the children.
There wasn’t a dry eye that day when they had to say goodbye. Even today when I see some of the volunteers are asking to come back in February.
Q: Are you looking to expose other young people to what’s going on in Haiti?
A: Yes. We are currently working with Government’s Mirrors Programme on a project next month, and with Bermuda Institute for something in April.
We have spoken to other schools on the Island as well and there have been some talks about adding it to their curriculum for Grade 11 students to come to Haiti before graduating.
Q: For those who can’t physically go to Haiti, are there other ways they can help?
A: Yes for those who can’t go, we encourage them to please support us in prayer and financially. We must raise over $10,000 per month to keep our programmes going and 100 percent of that goes to Feed My Lambs.
Q: Once this construction project is finished, how will it help the children and families in Haiti?
A: I don’t think this project will ever be completely finished.
We have 55 children at the orphanage and they will always need help — whether that be food, education [or] healthcare.
You see, a orphanage is 24/7. Even when the children in our orphanage finish school, some will go to college.
We currently have six in college — four studying in Port-au-Prince [the capital of Haiti] and two studying in the Dominican Republic.
One is hoping to become a doctor, two are looking to become nurses, another two are studying computer science and the last one is studying agriculture.
In addition to that our school is busting at the seams now with close to 700 students. It’s growing so rapidly because in some cases this is the first chance these children have had to get a free education.
The students come from the mountains or the villages and walk for miles to go to school.
They know that education is important if you want to make it in life. Education is the key for success.
We believe it’s important to raise leaders and truly hope the students we are educating will become responsible productive leaders in their country.
In addition to that the clinic is also flourishing. We have a full-time nurse, a doctor three days a week and a lab technician to handle the blood work. We have treated up to 200 people a day. The clinic also services the children at the orphanage and the school, as well as those from the nearby village.
Q: What would it mean for Feed My Lambs to get this support?
A: Getting this support allows us to help others and at the same time help our Bermudian children to have a life-changing experience while they are helping others.
By Nadia Arandjelovic