Desperation fills the faces of many people living in Haiti. People often come to the gates of Tytoo Gardens because they are desperate: Desperate for food, desperate for adequate shelter, desperate for medical attention. Mothers often come to relinquish their children to the care of Tytoo Gardens staff, seeking to sacrifice their parental rights in the hope that their children will have better lives.
One mother has lamented, "I have no house. I have no food to feed my kids. I have no means to send them to school. I have nothing." And the only solution she can see, is giving up her precious children to the care of strangers.
The Starfish Program was started with the purpose of offering hope in these desperate situations and to empower women living in poverty to physically, mentally, and spiritually provide for their families. When mothers are empowered to care for their children, we will see a new generation of strong Haitian leaders rise up to bless their country.
Here are some ways the Starfish program seeks to holistically meet the needs of its members:
Physically: Starfish provides regular portions of rice for the women registered in the program and regular medical care through our clinic.
Mentally: Starfish members attend meetings every other Tuesday at Tytoo. This is where Mommy Sarah and Ali provide training in life skills, employment coaching, and emotional support. Members of Starfish also connect with other women facing similar struggles and benefit from this sense of community.
Spiritually: Starfish partners with our local church pastor who attends each Starfish meeting and provides Biblical teaching and discipleship, while the overarching theme of the Starfish Program is to help women recognize their worth as created in the image of God.
As a means of encompassing all three areas of development, Starfish offers assistance in finding employment for its members through a network of connections and partners. Sometimes, women will receive a small business loan through the Starfish Program with instruction and training on how to use it. After a woman has been employed, she will stay enrolled in Starfish for 3-4 months, at which time she will officially graduate and space will be made for a new member.
Please pray that God would continue to use the Starfish Program for His glory as we see women and children thrive and grow into beautiful examples of God’s grace.