History of the Foundation for the Children of Haiti
Chapter 1 – 1981: First Steps
Gladys Thomas, founder and director of The Foundation for the Children of Haiti ("FCH") was born in in the village of St. Michel de l'Attalaye in the central plateau region of Haiti, about 90 kilometers north of Port au Prince.
Gladys grew up in a family of eleven children. Her father was a clergyman in the local church.
After completing her secondary school education in Haiti, Gladys went to the United States to study nursing. After receiving her degree, she returned to Port-au-Prince. Gladys was initially involved in a ministry working with needy women. In 1981, about a year after returning to Haiti, Gladys was asked to assume management of a small orphanage in Port au Prince. This orphanage – then called the Caribbean View Home for Children – was home to 45 children. The situation was dire: the previous administrator had abandoned the home, there was very little food, the facility was in poor repair, and the orphanage had no source of financial support. Despite the apparently hopeless situation, Gladys was moved by compassion for the children and – armed only with faith – assumed the role of director. Gradually, through God's grace and Gladys' dedication and skillful administration, a small support network was developed and the operation of the orphanage was stabilized.
The first year of Gladys' administration was spent obtaining suitable furniture and supplies for the orphanage, repairing the building, and changing the structure of care to a model where the children lived in family units, each with a "House Mom" caring for groups of 6 – 10 children. This structure has been critical to the success of the Foundation's child care activities over the years, as it allows the children to experience the safety and security of family life.
Next Chapter: Mid-1980's: Haiti Home for Children and the First School
Canadian Foundation for the Children of Haiti
6093 – 145A Street.
Surrey, B.C. V3S 4R6
CFCH is a Canadian Registered Charity
Canada Revenue Agency Business Number 89000 4591 RR0001