A Labor Of Love
“It takes many hands to make light work” as they say in Haiti. This past week I have had many hands in helping me uncover 8 years of drainage and debris that has filled in on Brit’s Way and Rt 2. Both Box Culverts that go under Brit’s Way and Rt 2 are clogged with dirt and rock from up the mountain that has accumulated over the years. Rain happens almost every night in the summer in Haiti and sometimes it’s torrential and floods areas very quickly. Some of you over the years have asked me how many employees does it take to operate Brit’s Home? Right now we have 90 employees for 70 children at different locations throughout the compound. Some of them have been with me since digging the foundation by hand some 12 years ago and they feel ownership in Be Like Brit.
We are blessed for sure to have dedicated people who work here, for example Madame Finette our Kitchen Manager does so much to make sure our kids eat a healthy meal 3 times a day. Rice and Beans is a staple in Haiti, but so isn’t spaghetti with ketchup, Fresh Fruit and Vegetables are grown in our gardens and loved by our children. Now is Mango season and they are loving fresh picked mangos for sure. We have 10 full time women who assist Madame Finette in the Kitchen along with 8 of our kids who help on a daily basis. Our Policy at BLB is for every one of our workers to get a meal with every shift, depending on the workers inside and outside the gate, we could feed up to 200 people a day.
Security is very tight right now in Haiti and at Brit’s home, we have 15 men that work full time to keep our kids and staff safe. Maurice is our day shift Chief, Pillage is our night shift chief and Woodley is our special forces Chief… They all play an intricate part at BLB and as I tell folks, I sleep better in Haiti than I do in the States. Operations is filled with our Plumber Arismat, Electrician and Solar expert Walter, Pierre Noel runs our Depot and is Mr Fix it, Jean Jean is our mechanic and driver along with Cupidon. Laporte our Carpenter is helped by Oscer and Lifet who has been here since the beginning. Jeff runs our Garden and Farm Animals, think Chickens and Pigs now, he is extraordinary in the results he gets for our BLB Family!
We are so lucky to have such a Great Leadership Team, with Manmi Love back in the States, we have our new Haiti Director, our son Bernie who walked up the mountain with me the first time on September 24, 2010 and has never left my side! His Assistant Director is Mirlaine who is a nurse, but over the past 10 years has shown great leadership and is perfect for her new role. Coach is our activities coordinator and is so committed to our kids, He’s been here for almost 10 years and is the glue that keep the building together. JM or Jean Marie as he is known is our Sociologist, Therapist all in one, his commitment to the emotional, social and spiritual intelligence, he is a blessing in our kids lives… We have 14 caregivers during the week who work a 4pm to 8am shift and are led by Lisa and Eric who are committed to the success of the development of our children. Mr. Charles is our School Principal along with 7 other teachers who make up Brit’s Academy. 51 of our students will be back in the community schools this year after 2 years of Covid, they are so excited to get back to their normal routine. Our Superintendent of Schools is Dr. Debbie Pallatto who has been with us since the beginning of Brit’s Home, she is an Extraordinary Leader and is so dedicated to our Staff and Children’s success. The weekend Staff is also our training grounds for our weekday staff to stay strong and trained.
Transition Housing for our 10 yes 10 young adults who are 18 or above is run by Mr and Mrs Valme. Their goal is to teach, enhance and train our young adults to adulthood. Who better to run BLB in the future than the kids that grew up here! We are excited to see Brit’s Home 10, 20 and even 30 years from now! Joe Nelson is our all around Go To Guy, he makes sure everyone at BLB is fed, that they all have water and of course doing what they are supposed to be doing! He is Papi Len’s eyes and ears when he’s not here and he works with Charlie doing inventory of all the donated items. Joe is honest as the day is new, he grew up in an Orphanage, so he gets what needs to be done so everyone has their dignity! I would be Remiss without mentioning Charlie who volunteer’s both in Haiti and the USA, he is in charge of all the inventory at the OC and works with Joe daily as to what is needed in Haiti, they both are a Blessing in all of our lives!
I can’t help but think of the Haiti saying “The Days are Long in Haiti and there is never enough time in them” This Labor Day Weekend in Haiti I think of all the Volunteers who have help build 154 houses on the Mountain of Ikondo for the poorest of the poor on earth. I’m grateful for all those who came to Haiti in 2010-2012 to help build Brit’s Home, you will never be forgotten. I’m also very grateful for all of you who have volunteered in the Operations Center in Worcester and of course all of those who worked so hard for the Success of Be Like Brit!
Thank You and take a day off tomorrow, you’ve earned it!!!
A Labor of Love from,