SYRACUSE, New York — Beautiful Morning Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of Haitian children by providing them with a home and access to education. While the orphanage and school are located in Haiti, Beautiful Morning Inc. is located in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Georgetown, Texas. The Borgen Project spoke with Dr. Carlos W. Perkins, founder of Beautiful Morning Inc., about how he got started and his plans for the organization’s future.
Perkins and Henderson Open Jesus House for Children
Perks founded Beautiful Morning Inc. alongside Dr. Michael Henderson, vice president of the organization after a medical mission to Haiti in 2016. “When I got to Haiti I immediately fell in love with the people,” Perkins said in the interview. “Just to see the level of poverty there was kind of astonishing for me,”
Feeling a call to improve the lives of Haitian children, the two opened the Jesus House for Children in 2018. The orphanage housed 28 children at the time; it currently houses 32. Jesus House for Children is located in a province about 25 minutes outside of Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. Some children who live there have deceased parents or parents who couldn’t take care of them “These are children age ranging from 4 to, at the time we started, 11. Now, the 11-year-old is 14 going on 15,” Perkins said.
Academy of Hope
Perkins said the entire country of Haiti went into crisis due to political unrest in 2019, causing its school system to shut down. As a result, it opened an on-site school so that the children would be able to continue their education. “From January to about March or April, the kids weren’t in school — they were just in the orphanage,” Perkins said. “And so we decided to start a school at the orphanage.”
The Academy of Hope serves students from Kindergarten to sixth grade. The curriculum is the same one taught at the local Haitian schools and is taught in Creole, English and French. At the Academy of Hope, children learn not just to thrive academically but also physically, socially and emotionally as well. The school uses auditory, hands-on and visual learning to help engage the students.
While the orphanage currently houses 32 children, it is looking to expand in the future. It recently invited three new children to join the orphanage. Beautiful Morning Inc. is also looking to expand the school in order to take in more children. “We have received numerous requests from individuals that live in that neighborhood to be a part of our school,” Perkins said. “So, we have gotten huge requests for expansion in terms of the school.”
The organization is working to physically build more while simultaneously expanding its property. Around a year and a half ago, it started a project to build a schoolhouse. Perkins said the schoolhouse has more space for children and allows adults to stay in there with them.
In Haiti, there is a shortage of access to energy. Around 60% of the country does not have consistent access to electricity. When electricity plays such a big part in daily life, that’s an issue. Perkins said Beautiful Morning Inc. is currently working to solve that issue for the orphanage and the school. Currently, there is no electricity at the orphanage or access to public electricity. “We are in the midst of fundraising now for the solar project that will bring electricity to the orphanage, to school and quite possibly to the neighborhood,” Perkins said.
Caring For Children’s Health
Haiti is currently dealing with a political crisis, lack of proper health care, lack of proper housing and the poverty rate. Organizations like Beautiful Morning Inc. help with improving the lives of Haitian children with a place to lay their heads, a warm meal and access to education. It also makes sure to look after the children’s health. “A part of Dr. Michael’s role as he travels with us is every time we go down — and we try to travel down twice a year in March and in November — is to provide medical care for the students,” Perkins said.
Its goal is to “serve as many children as possible,” he said, and the orphanage expansion will allow them to help more. Organizations like this are needed everywhere, especially in places of the world where poverty and homelessness are higher. One of the company’s missions statements is that “We believe every child should have the chance to grow up and develop a healthy and happy future!” The work that the organization does helps to ensure that the children under their care will have that.
– Ariel Dowdy