Frequently Asked Questions
In conversations with ESPWA supporters this week, we responded to many questions about Free the Kids passing the stewardship of ESPWA to Overture International for oversight and US fundraising. We will continue to update this page as we have questions that improves the effectiveness of our communications.
One of our team members will respond as soon as possible.
FAQ 1: Who is Overture International?
FAQ 2: If I donate to Overture International, will my donation still go to support ESPWA programs?
FAQ 3: Are the programs at ESPWA changing and how will the domes be used now that most of the children have been reunified with their families?
FAQ 4: Will religious instruction, prayer, worship and pastoral activities continue at the heart of programming at ESPWA?
FAQ 5: How do I change my monthly gifts from Free the Kids to Overture International to support ESPWA?
FAQ 6: What percentage of my contribution will go directly to support the programs?
Question: Who is Overture International?
Overture Outreach International (dba Overture International), is a 501c3 organization established by individuals in the U.S. and Haiti to empower families living in extreme poverty through sustainable social, community and economic development.
The Overture team is comprised of many who have worked at ESPWA for over a decade. This includes FTK staff, Frank Irr, Lisa Hyatt, and Cameron Parker, and key ESPWA leaders, Jocelyn Nelson and Maxo Fontaine.
Overture’s strategy is based on a simple principle of biblical economic beliefs:
Job creation is the ultimate solution to combating the ongoing cycle of poverty that results in family separation, vulnerability to natural disasters, and a dependence on foreign aid.
In recent years, Overture has been working in rural communities in Haiti providing assistance on everything from building schools to obtaining food for distribution. Its focus is on families and communities, which complements ESPWA’s “children and families” mission perfectly. Among Overture’s many projects, is a wonderful construction project in the Tiburon area of the country. Working with a local mayor and Parish Pastor, they’ve developed a small dome housing community for poor families, that includes a school, sanitation domes and a relief shelter that houses hurricane and food supplies. This project has the added benefit of providing business training to several of the local members of the construction crews.
A by-product of their work in Haiti is the network of partners they have assembled to complement their capabilities. Overture has an excellent reputation in Haiti and in the international community. Much of the food that ESPWA receives from international sources comes through Overture.
Question: If I donate to Overture International, will my donation still go to support ESPWA programs?
Overture International is committed to sustaining ESPWA programs which educates and develops children, strengthens families, and builds communities in Southern Haiti. Your donations will continue to be designated to the ESPWA programs unless you designate differently.
Through generous donations from partners like you, Overture is honored to provide the financial support that enables ESPWA to continue the life-changing work they've been doing with and for the children and families in southern Haiti for 22 years now.
Question: Are the programs at ESPWA changing and how will the domes be used now that most of the children have been reunified with their families?
ESPWA has become the epicenter of a new vision for poverty alleviation in Haiti. The mission is no longer an orphanage, rather a center that provides vital programs for children AND support for their families so they can stay together. We have become even more passionately committed to this work, so perpetuating the ESPWA mission is therefore paramount to all of us associated with the mission.
With a renewed focus on child development, ESPWA’s social workers have driven the mission towards strengthening families. And with most of the children now living at home, we have turned ESPWA into a child development day center that operates in much the same way we do today. We will do so with far fewer children in residence – but no fewer children on the campus…maybe even more!
We will continue to run schools and after-school programs, and help young people transition into adulthood and the economy. The difference is that we have expanded our work to include children who live at home instead of inside our walls. All of these programs are now fully open to the community that surrounds ESPWA. Children will receive the benefits of both worlds…living with their families AND being educated and gaining world experiences that will one day yield independence.
Our resident program then becomes a temporary crisis care program. Children will live at ESWPA and go to school while their families and our team work on their systemic support issues, so the children can safely return to the home after a short stay.
ESPWA’s facilities will also be used for family programs such as parenting and literacy classes, counseling and even business training.
Overture has worked with us through these mission changes and is fully committed to supporting ESPWA's goals.
Question: Will religious instruction, prayer, worship and pastoral activities continue at the heart of programming at ESPWA?
Yes, absolutely Catholic religious education and pastoral activities will continue as a core element of our child development and morale values education at ESPWA schools. Religious education is a routine weekly class in our schools with a structured curriculum, guided by a local Catholic Priest.
Our pastoral programs extend religious education into our after school activities. These activities include sacramental development (for those who choose the Catholic faith), liturgical formation (choir, altar servers, readers, etc.) and youth service activities (at ESPWA and in the community). We have expanded our enrollment in the school and after school activities to include more local community students who benefit greatly from these opportunities.
Weekly Mass is also offered by a visiting Catholic Priest and open to community families. In addition, we work with many Catholic churches in nearby communities coordinating parent training, child advocacy discussions, food distributions, and the annual Box of Joy distributions (coordinated with Cross Catholic Outreach).
Question: How do I change my monthly gift from Free the Kids to Overture International to support ESPWA?
We are so grateful for your past support of Free the Kids, and our hope is that you continue your support of ESPWA through Overture International. As you well know, ESPWA provides life-changing programs and services to children and families in southern Haiti. It is only through generous donations from partners like you that we can continue in that mission.
For those with recurring credit card donations, no further action is required on your part to continue your support of ESPWA. Beginning this month, you’ll see the name of Overture International on your credit card statement instead of Free the Kids.
If you send your gifts by check, please make the check payable to Overture International and send to PO Box 16045, High Point, NC 27261. We will also continue to receive checks to Free the Kids over the next several months. As a convenience, we will be sending you new remit envelops by July 15th.
As a sustaining donor of ESPWA, your donations will be designated to ESPWA unless you tell us differently.
At any time before December 31, 2020, if you want to update your recurring donation, you can do so here! And, if you have any questions, please contact us here. Thank you for your continued partnership and commitment!
Question: What percentage of my contribution will go directly to support the programs?
Accountability and transparency are the cornerstone of partnership with donors and those we serve.
FINANCIAL TRANSPARENCY: Our financial and tax statements are made public via our website and other public platforms. We welcome donors' questions and concerns.
EFFICIENCY: We are committed to keeping our administrative and fundraising costs as low as possible while serving our donors and volunteers with quality educational and philanthropic resources.
Roughly 90% of our funds each year go directly toward our programs, which YOUR donations make possible! We prioritize using the majority of all resources to support our programs in Haiti, including ESPWA. The remaining funds go towards management, general administration expenses and fundraising/marketing efforts, ultimately so we can support those programs in the most effective and efficient ways possible. We value every dollar that is contributed toward our work and don't take lightly the responsibility we have to steward it well.