WHO IS HAVEN OF HOPE?
At Haven of Hope International, we believe that every child has a destiny to fulfill. Without family support, that is nearly impossible for any child – especially for an orphaned child who has experienced abuse, abandonment, and poverty. Our desire is to equip these forgotten children destined for failure with the skills to be destined for success. Our Haven of Hope program does just that: changes an orphan’s life from struggling to thriving.
Breaking the cycle of poverty and abuse for these children is not an easy task. It takes a plan that goes beyond three meals, a bed, and a roof. Our Haven of Hope model provides proven programs and strategies and have been tested for 15 years at our flagship orphanage. A place where orphans can feel valued, loved, and be restored physically, emotionally, and spiritually so they can dream and ultimately fulfill those dreams.
STRATEGIC SUSTAINABLE PROGRAMS ARE KEY.
Since 2004, Haven of Hope’s flagship orphanage – Refugio de Esperanza in Santa Cruz, Bolivia – has served more than 300 orphaned children and equipped them all with the skills needed to grow into thriving young adults, living independently and contributing to their community.
It may be difficult to understand what success looks like for orphans compared to how success looks for children raised in a caring family environment. In reality, they are not too different when an orphan grows up in a Haven of Hope environment.
We measure the overall impact and success of the Haven of Hope model similar to how schools measure success: preparing each child for graduation and successful independent living. For orphans, this means making certain they do not return to a life on the street and poverty.
Refugio de Esperanza children leave the orphanage with:
- A Bolivian high school degree or its equivalent. (In Bolivia, 33% of first graders complete the fifth grade and 20% start secondary school.)
- Basic computer and English skills to compete in academic and vocational arenas.
- Vocational skills in a career field that fits their interests and special talents.
- Connections with local resources and programs based on their career field.
- Transitional living skills, including financial and time management to successfully move from the orphanage campus to living independently in their community.
- A bank account to get them started from money they earned through participation in the orphanage’s “Products of Hope” sustainability program.
At Haven of Hope International, we believe that with our model of orphan care, every child can fulfill his or her destiny.
ABOUT OUR FOUNDER
Alice Skaff, proud mother of 3 and grandmother of 4, is the founder of Haven of Hope International, a local 501(c)3 that is setting a new standard in orphan care globally. Being an advocate for vulnerable populations has been a common theme throughout her life as she served the elder population in Lee, Charlotte, and Collier County for 23 years. In 2004, this native of Guayaquil, Ecuador embarked on a mission trip to Santa Cruz, Bolivia to build an orphanage. Significantly impacted by the sight of children living on the streets, she rallied the group to “adopt” the orphanage to ensure its long-term success and took the first step to answer the call God placed on her life.
Professionally, Alice has passionately and commendably served the elderly population in multiple capacities including: Professional Guardian, Guardianship Paralegal, Professional Fiduciary, Life Care Coordinator, employed by local law firms and through her business, Guardian Angel Services. Her genuine empathy, concern, and ability to navigate complex family and legal situations in an effort to ensure her clients maintain the best quality of life possible is evident in the work she does today with Haven of Hope. Her time serving on the steering committee for GPS Life Journey, becoming a certified Life Coach and Facilitator of the GPS Life Journey was time well-spent as she now incorporates this into the resources for orphan/foster care homes globally.
In 2013, Ms. Skaff founded Haven of Hope International in an effort to rescue more children and provide a restorative and empowering environment by partnering with struggling orphanages around the world. Juggling full-time elder care and part-time volunteer work ended in August 2016, when she transitioned into her full-time position as Executive Director for HOHI. What started as just a mission trip has become a life-long commitment to see abused, abandoned, and orphaned children have the opportunity to fulfill their God-intended destiny.