Haiti Blog

Brent & Letitia Jefkins

Transitions: An Update on The Independence Program

on December 16, 2013

The Independence Program (i.e. my baby…

…I’m kidding, I’m not really that possessive about it) has some exciting news to share with you!

But since it can’t talk, I’ll share on its behalf!

I have been working for the last few months with the person who will be taking over for me when I leave in May. His name is Giovany! He has been working for Kids Alive for a few years now as our Social Worker, he will keep doing his previous job, while taking on a new role!

Meet Giovany!


There are many reasons why I’m so excited to transition the Independence Program into his hands, the main one being:

I know that when I leave Haiti I won’t have to worry about the Program’s success. He’s got the vision, and is excited about it!

Other reasons include: He loves giving “formasyon”. I give you the Creole word because in English it’s more of a sentence! It’s like, teaching about life skills or other instructions that help “form” people. And he’s good at it. I never felt super comfortable teaching on such topics, but he does it with ease.

This one’s obvious, but he’s Haitian! There is no one better to teach Haitian teens how to live in Haiti than a Haitian.

He’s fun, can get goofy, likes to play the guitar and sing songs; he has fun with the teens! But he can also be very serious. His background in Social Work makes him passionate about healthy relationships, good communication and conflict resolution (things I also value very much!) And he will need these things as our first 3 girls in the Program move into a house together!

Which brings me to my next piece of exciting news!

The first 3 girls in the Program are moving into the first Independence Home this month!

Me and the 3 girls in front of their new house.

Me and the 3 girls in front of their new house.

The month is half over already, as you know, so that means in the next week and a half the house needs to be finished, all the furniture and food bought and all their stuff moved in. We want them to have enough time to adjust to this new living arrangement before starting back to school for the 2nd trimester of high school.

This is where I need your help! In Haiti, you can have plans, but life happens and things get delayed. This happens more than you can imagine. So despite the house ALMOST being ready, and everything seeming to be on track…you never know!

So I would love for you to pray with us that everything will continue to move along smoothly, so that after Christmas, but before New Years the girls can move into their new home!

Thanks so much, and I’ll let you know what happens!!



5 responses to “Transitions: An Update on The Independence Program

  1. Kristen says:

    Like like liiiike. This is exciting!

  2. Joan Lafrance says:

    I am so excited for the girls. Wish I could be there when they move in!

  3. Diana Witbeck says:

    It’s so neat to have been there with you two, met the girls already in their own home, met Giovany, and seen everything in action! What a job you guys are doing and have done! I am so very proud of you both and very pleased to have been able to visit Haiti while you were still there. It was wonderful to have visited all the house parents of the 8 homes who are doing a fabulous job with all their children.

  4. Jessica says:

    Wow Teesh. I didn’t realize you guys were leaving in MAY. That is going to come fast. I do love though, that you are already training someone to take over. What a gift to find someone talented, able, and willing to take on this new position!

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