The Project

The Jacmel Children’s Center is a new orphanage and school in the heart of Jacmel, Haiti.

The Center is founded by Bonite Affriany, a nurse by trade, who is called by many, the “Mother Theresa” of Jacmel. She currently serves daily lunches to over 300 children and dozens of senior citizens that otherwise would not be able to eat. She is a spiritual leader in her community, providing faith services and a refuge. At her current facility (adjacent to the JCC), in addition to her faith services, she offers a food bank, clothing and diaper/formula distribution, free medical care, and adult education classes. She also feeds prisoners in the local jail twice a month and finances temporary housing to families in need.

It has always been Bonite’s dream to provide a home and school for the many orphans of Jacmel. Bay Area’s Lisa Rueff, who met Bonite shortly after the earthquake and witnessed the selfless dedication of the work she was doing, worked with her husband Philip Schneider and Bonite to provide the vision for the Center, as well as initial funding. Following the first year of development, they were thrilled to have the involvement of the non-profit Random Acts to complete the funding of the center.

Construction was managed by Gerard Clodomir (a Haitian-born Construction and Structural Design Engineer who has engineered subway lines in NYC), and financially supported by caring citizens around the world.  Daily reports and progress pictures were gathered by Bonite Affriany, who in turn forwarded them daily to Gerard Clodomir for oversight and/or engineering decisions. The Center is designed with passive energy considerations, as well as options for active energy upgrades. To this end, we are currently in the process of installing solar panels and a clean water well. The orphanage/school is located in the heart of Jacmel, Haiti, a charming artisan seaside town on the southern coast of Haiti. The center has been designed with a priority on creating a safe, nurturing, and beautiful environment for the children. Surrounded by 12-foot cement (rebar reinforced) walls, the 12,000 sq. ft. facility features:

  • Bedrooms: The Center offers accommodations for up to 80 children between the “entrance” ages of 2 and 10.
  • Classrooms/Study/Dining Rooms: Spaces for culinary facilities and tables for dining/study/classroom, as well as recreation areas.
  • Full Kitchen Facility: Culinary appliances and storage.
  • Food Gardens: Interior courtyard space, as well as space between the perimeter wall and exterior of the structure, will include vegetable beds and fruit trees.
  • Water Well: A 150-foot water well to provide cholera-free fresh water for drinking and cooking.
  • Ancillary Rooms: Sleeping accommodations for the “house moms” and security.

The structure was initially designed by Ed Weinstein of Weinstein AU with drawings subsequently modified by Gerard Clodomir. Construction oversight was led by Bonite Affriany and Clodomir.