This is an article written by Estherline, who lived in an orphanage as a child and can speak from her own experience. Her personal stories illustrate the situations that kids in Haiti face. We keep asking her to write them down for us to share on the website.
Below she gives her advice for how you can befriend and help the children you are serving in Haiti. For each of the questions she has provided an audio pronunciation.
Introduction (Creole and English)
Koman ou ka pale avèk yon timoun ki nan òfelina ou renmen ,
How you can talk with a child who is in the orphanage who you like,
e koman ou ka vini zanmi li pi vit ,
and how you can become their friend quickly,
si ou ka pale avèk yo ,
if you can talk with them,
sa pi enpòtan bagay ou ka fè paske ou pral konprann tout bagay nan òfelina
that is the most important thing you can do because you will understand everything abut the orphange
Nou dwe pran anpil tan pale avèk timoun yo , konprann yo plis
We must take a lot of time to take with the children, to understand them more
Nou dwe bay timoun yo anpil lanmou ,san lanmou ou pat bezwen ede yo vre ,
We must give the children a lot of love, without love you don’t need to help them,
fòk timoun yo santi yo enpòtan
the children must feel they are important.
12 Creole Questions for Visiting an Orphanage
1. Kijan ou rele?
What is your name?
2. Eske ou gen paran?
Do you have parents?
3. Eske paran ou vivan, oubyen paran ou mouri?
Are you parents still living or have they died?
4. Eske ou gen fre? oubyen se?
Do you have brothers or sisters?
5. Ki laj ou?
How old are you?
6. Eske ou vle zanmi mwen?
Do you want to be my friend?
7. Eske ou vle jwe avèk mwen?
Do you want to play with me?
9. Eske ou vle bay blag avèk mwen?
Do you want to tell jokes with me?
10. Eske ou ale lekol?
Do you go to school?
11. Eske ou gen liv pou etidye?
Do you have books to study?
12. Eske ou gen pwofesè ?
Do you have teachers?
Other Things To Observe
There are many other questions that are better put to the directors and caretakers. For example, questions about daily routine and meal plans. Here are some more comments from Estherline. We can add pronunciation for these too (just leave a comment if you’re interested).
Gade si moun kap okipe timoun yo nan òfelina a, toute sèvi byen avèk yo , nenpòt moun ,menm mèt òfelina a nou dwe gade si li sèvi byen avèk timoun yo
Look to see if the caretakers are truly serving the children well. When you enter the orphanage this is something you must watch to see if they are caring for the children properly.
Moun òfelina toujou moutre yo okipe timoun yo byen ,pa fwa yo okipe byen ,men pa fwa yo pa okipe vre ,paske yo sèl okipe timoun yo lè blan yo la
The caretakers will show you if the care for the children well. Sometimes they will, but not always because some caretakers don’t serve the children well after the foreign visitors leave.
Blan yo dwe veye sa nan òfelina yo ap ede ya , eske moun kap travay nan òfelina yo ,eske yo okipe timoun yo byen.
The visitors must always look out for this to help the children. Always ask if the caretakers are taking good care of the children.
Become Friends with the Children
La wap vini zanmi yo pi vit ,paske wap santi yo enpòtan pou blan yo vre ,timoun toujou bezwen santi moun kap ede yo ,pou yo moutre timoun vre yo renmen yo
You can become their friends quickly because they will feel they are truly important to the visitors. The children need to always feel that they have support and that people truly love them.