“Transformation begins with me – We can’t expect our world to change if we’re not willing to start in our own lives. As we experience transformation, we share that with our family, our friends and our neighbors. We want to encourage you to grow as a person and become someone who experiences life change and lives it out in your community and your world.” – The Chanje Movement
For the last 10 years, I have been sponsoring young children through Compassion International, and this past year, I decided to sponsor a new child in Haiti, Watson Don, through the Chanje Movement. When I signed up to sponsor Watson at the women’s conference at my church, they mentioned that I could go on a mission trip with them to meet him in person. I have always wanted to serve on a mission trip, but I never seemed to find the right opportunity.
In May, I tragically lost my fur baby Ally (who was only 3 years old), which left me completely heartbroken. I asked God, why? She brought me so much joy, she was my road trip buddy, and oh how l cherished our mornings together at the dog park. So instead, I started asking myself… what could I do to start healing my broken heart?
Immediately, I thought of the mission trip to Haiti. I jumped online and submitted my application to go with the Heartline Women’s Ministry September 21st-27th. I later found out that our group would also be hosting a Women’s Conference for the women of Haiti, which was an added bonus! Anyone who knows my heart knows my passion for women to know their value, and experience the strength and power that comes from a sisterhood of support and encouragement.
The Chanje Movement’s vision is to bring hope and a future to the children of Haiti through community transformation and revival. They began in January 2010, after a devastating earthquake rocked Port au Prince, Haiti. This earthquake resulted in the deaths of more than 250,000, the permanent displacement of more than one million, and complete social, economic, and political disruption. The founders of the Chanje Movement saw firsthand how their determination enabled them to make a difference in the lives of the people of Haiti, particularly the youth. Over the next three years, they became deeply involved in community reconstruction, leadership training, spiritual formation, and micro-enterprise, all while helping orphans and providing food and safe drinking water.
In partnership with several organizations, the vision for the Chanje Movement was born. Chanje is the Haitian Creole word for change and transformation. Their involvement with Haiti has demonstrated how individuals with compassion for others can partner together and make an enormous and eternal difference in our world. What began as a handful of related projects in the communities surrounding Port au Prince has grown into a network of local and international partners who are constantly seeking transformation in the communities and the lives of their inhabitants.
In the last year, through the Chanje Movement in Haiti, thousands received continuous access to clean water and emergency meals, 500 leaders received training, 75 youth received regular primary and secondary school education, five homes were built, new businesses were launched, and many jobs were created.
The Chanje Movement has also had a significant impact by replacing temporary housing and failing structures with permanent homes that are earthquake proof and storm proof. With local Haitian laborers training them in modern construction techniques, the Chanje Movement has been responsible for employing, equipping, and empowering local workers to help stabilize the economy. Their micro-credit program has had amazing success stories, ranging across entrepreneurial industries such as furniture, clothing, and consumable retail to the transportation sector.
On top of that, they have purchased a two acre field in Croix des Bouquets where they will create a “Dream Center” for the local community in a way that can be replicated throughout the region. They are planting a church in partnership with a local pastor, establishing a medical clinic and a trade school, and building a permanent home for orphaned children who are being lovingly raised with hope for the future. Building a new generation of young women and men who will pray boldly, lead courageously, and love compassionately is essential, as these children will face the challenges of rebuilding a nation that needs self-reliance, self-determination, integrity, and interdependence.
The Chanje Movement is helping Haitians be the heroes, thanks to the generosity of donors and volunteers.
Keep me in your prayers as I prepare for this amazing journey!
-Christina Mangino, Sr. Wealth Advisor, Surevest Private Wealth