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VOLUNTEERS

KCH is a small organization that depends on volunteers only. A growing network of volunteers at KCH USA and Canada assists the Haitian Program Coordinator with administrative, strategic and programmatic support, including fundraising, accounting, communications, social media and mentoring of the students. This network of more than 20 professionals includes the Washington, DC based Executive Director and Board of Directors, all committed to provide these services and engage in sponsorship and mentoring of the students.  Our work is exciting and very rewarding. We are constantly looking for additional volunteers, in Haiti, Washington, DC and Ottawa. 

Do you have special talents you would like to share or some time on your hands that you would like to dedicate to a good cause? Join us! 
For applications and inquiries please contact us at info@kidsconnectionhaiti.org or use the contact page to leave a message.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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Astrid Fitzgerald
Founder

Astrid studied international business in the Netherlands and started her philanthropic career in 1998 for the NPFS/NPH orphanage in Haiti. She assisted the medical director in the slums and coordinated a program to prepare youth for an economically independent life after the orphanage. When she moved to Washington DC in 2002, Astrid continued helping Haiti as special projects manager for NPHI and became the international medical coordinator for Haiti and eight other countries. She became chairperson of the Social Services Committee of the International Women's Club in Brazil from 2005-2008, where she was responsible for donations and implementing local charity projects. Astrid is fluent in seven languages, among which Creole and French.

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Dave Stephen
Treasurer/Director KCH Canada

After completing a Bachelor's of Commerce degree in Montreal, Dave lived for two years in Haiti where he was a volunteer at the NPFS/NPH orphanage. Upon his return, he became a commercial airline pilot and made yearly trips back to Haiti, to volunteer with NPH and Maison de Naissance. During the early years of his flying career, Dave spent considerable time in developing countries in Africa and the Middle East using specially-equipped small airplanes to search for, among other things, water, vegetation and minerals for such clients as USAID, CIDA, the WFP, and the IOM. He is active in the Haitian community in Ottawa, sits on the board of Helping with Furniture supporting new immigrants, and is a member of the Refugee Assistance Group of Ottawa.

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Laura Grosso
Executive Director

Laura has over fifteen years of experience in international relief and development. She started her career as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in the Central African Republic. In 1998, she completed her Ph.D. in urban design and planning at the University of Washington. She then returned to Niger, in West Africa to manage a broad community development program for World Vision. Program activities included literacy training, construction of medical clinics, repair of water pumps, and facilitation of savings groups. In 2000, Laura became a program officer for World Vision. She was involved in program design, monitoring and evaluation, budget development and review, proposal writing, donor relations, and reporting. From 2007 through 2009, Laura served as an urban specialist and specifically worked on how to plan development programs for urban contexts. These past experiences are now brought together to advise KCH’s activities with youth and young adults in Haiti.

Marion Isabell Hardt
Donor and Sponsorship Management

Marion was born and raised in Germany where she studied communications and marketing. She spent a decade pursuing a career in marketing and brand management, including work throughout Germany, Russia, and the Middle East region. Most recently as Philip Morris International’s Marketing Supervisor for the Lower Gulf Region, developing and organizing marketing efforts and consumer engagement activities in the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman. Marion’s international work and travel have inspired her open heart and her desire to help those most in need. She has been involved with KCH since moving to the Washington DC area in 2012 with her husband and Golden Retriever. Her background, organization, and eye for detail have been invaluable to KCH’s donor and sponsorship management. Marion is fluent in German and English, and is also a Yoga teacher with an eye towards charity yoga classes benefiting students of Haiti and others in need.

Jeroen Kerssens
Sponsorship and Corporate Partnerships

Jeroen has over seven years experience in financial services and commercial real estate. He currently works in Asset Management for an international investor in the Washington, DC area. Jeroen recently graduated from the Master in Real Estate Finance program at Georgetown University. Before moving to the U.S., Jeroen worked for JLL, an international real estate advisory firm in the Netherlands. As a Senior Adviser, he was a relationship manager for corporate clients and responsible for new business development, project coordination and strategy development. Before working for JLL, he worked for GE Capital and ING. Jeroen lived in several countries and speaks five languages. With his experience in the corporate sector he contributes to KCH by building corporate partnerships and developing sponsorhip relationships. Jeroen is also responsible for the organization of fundraising events and the development of the KCH website.

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Jane Wynn
Program Advisor Haiti

Jane is responsible for the management of the Wynne Farm Ecological Reserve, an organization which conducts environmental awareness and soil management workshops for adults and schools. She is also working as an environmental consultant, for Haitian projects of international organizations like USAID and the French Red Cross. She provides training for the protection of the environment aiming agricultural workers including soil conservation. Jane has also been a natural science teacher and organized summer camps for several years, to raise environmental awareness. Jane holds a BA in Sociology and is fluent in Haitian Creole and French.

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Ernest cypre
PROGRAM ADVISOR HAITI

Ernest is a supervisor at Comme il Faut in Port-au-Prince. For more than fourteen years, Ernest has been working for this international Haitian company. Prior to that, he worked for NPH Consulting. Ernest advises KCH’s activities with youth and young adults and is a mentor for students in the KCH program, providing them with life skills training, formal educational support, and professional career development coaching. Ernest is fluent in Haitian Creole, French and English.

PROGRAM COORDINATION HAITI

Jackson PRERIUS
Program Coordinator Haiti

Jackson is responsible for the KCH program coordination in Haiti. Jackson follows up on each student's progress monthly and consults the school staff at least twice a year as well. Part of his work consist of interviewing new applicants and helping them choose an appropriate education and help them decide which professional path would be most likely successful for the student. Jackson works closely together with the program director in the United States and Canada. Before volunteering with KCH, Jackson was a student in the KCH program.

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Menesly alexandre
social worker HAITI

Born in Trouin, near Port-au-Prince, Menesly is a trained social worker responsible for the emotional and social well being of KCH students. He is also responsible for job-seeking advice and coaching including resume writing and interview preparation for any student who will soon graduate. In 2009, Menesly learned English at a dedicated English school. In 2010, he worked as an English translator. In 2011, Menesly entered the State University of Haiti in the Faculty of Human Sciences to study social work. Besides his duties as the KCH staff social worker, Menesly also teaches social sciences at a secondary school. He plans to increase his involvement in community work and working with youth. He also plans to study law in the future.

OUR PARTNERS

KCH is grateful for the organizations below, who have helped our program with advice, volunteerism, and logistical and emergency assistance. Some of our beneficiaries used to live with, or are still enrolled in, one of the programs below. KCH discusses with the organizations below how the support can best be implemented, following (or simultaneously with) the programs that these organizations offer. 

We are constantly looking to expand our network and creating new partnerships. Are you interested in becoming a partner of KCH? 
Please contact us at info@kidsconnectionhaiti.org or use the contact page to leave a message.

ComPASSION WEAVERS HAITI

This mission is organized by Fr. Rick Frechette MD CP to weave dignity out of humiliation, hope from cynicism and full tomorrow from a broken today. Offering education in the areas that are most affected by violence and poverty, the ‘St. Luke’ program strives to offer every child education and a meal a day.

global impact collective

The Global Impact Collective is an organization committed to doing good by impacting the lives of those who need it most. In order to promote good across the universe, this group brings together a team of intellectual problem-solvers who confront obstacles with a collective force and a pure passion.

haiti communiterE

Haiti Communitere (HC) is a Haitian based organization that strives for Haitian and International groups to operate as a community, thus increasing capacity and streamlining logistical operations. HC partners operate in a shared overhead environment, thus allowing their focus of operations to remain project based. HC continues to respond to the observed needs not being addressed on the ground while coordinating a Sustainability Resource Center that fosters creativity and connectivity while inspiring the Haitian and International development effort.

Mission results

Mission Results' mission is to bring about timely and tangible improvements to the economic and social conditions around the world. Mission Results is currently focused on Haiti, the poorest neighbor in the Western Hemisphere.

nos petits freres et soeurs

NPFS offers a permanent home, quality education and healthcare for hundreds of orphaned, abandoned and at risk children. Currently more than five hundred children live at the NPFS home permanently and another three hundred live with NPFS temporarily as a consequence of the earthquake in 2010. The majority of KCH students grew up at the NPFS orphanage. NPFS advises and consults with KCH concerning the admission and well-being of new students.

JFL Foundation

The JFL Foundation supports education and entrepreneurship activities benefiting underprivileged people around the world for the betterment of themselves, their families, and communities. The foundation's vision is for everyone to have the opportunity to embrace their magnificence, learn, create an enriched life, and give back for a better tomorrow. 

oecb

OECB started almost 30 years ago with their first orphanage in Haiti, with only 6 children.  Since then, the organization has prospered and grown, and now has around 160 children in 2 houses. In addition to this, OECB supports many smaller Haitian orphanages through weekly food deliveries and more.

IC baby shoes

iC Baby Shoes donates a percentage of their income to KCH. With your purchase you are not only caring for your own child's development but also that of those who have no one else. An efficient and direct way to help children in need develop and achieve their goals.