Papillon is working to keep Haitian families together. Skill development and employment address the needs of families before they are at the point of desperation, driven to give their children to an orphanage because of extreme poverty. After all, the vast majority of Haiti’s “orphans” have not been orphaned by parental deaths, earthquakes, hurricanes, or floods, but are children of living parents who gave them up simply because they knew that an orphanage could feed their child. Lagging adoptions, overcrowding, and lack of accountability has made many orphanages less than adequate homes for children, who often develop severe emotional problems such as reactive attachment disorder. This is why this artisans’ guild as an “un-orphanage.” They find creative ways for Haitians to be self-employed so that they can take care of their own children with dignity and joy.
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