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Record Details:

Zanmi Lakay

Facility Type: Info/Hotline
Status: Open

U.S. ADDR: 153 Montecito Ave., Pacifica, CA 94044

Various, HT 00000

Region:Haiti, Caribbean

Main/General Business Number: 650-359-6225 info @

Management Contact: (hidden)
Management Phone: (hidden)

Mission: Zanmi Lakay is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for current and former street children in Haiti by providing educational and economic opportunities and resources to help these children while they are on the streets and to help build a life for them off the streets.

This organization provides Temporary or Permanent Service? Temporary


About Us from the website:

How Zanmi Lakay Began…

I first went to Haiti in 1997 and lived at Lafanmi Selavi, a home created for street children by Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 1986 when he was still a parish priest. Close to 500 children found their way to Lafanmi Selavi for a variety of reasons. Some were orphans or abandoned, others had been abused, many families could not afford to take care of their kids, and many were restaveks or child slaves. I took their pictures and got to know them during the years I worked on my documentary project and held Photography Workshops.

When Lafanmi Selavi closed, many children no longer had the opportunity to go to school, a place to sleep, food and clothing, sports, music, art, or a family that their former home provided. Street life is harsh, miserable, and dangerous for children in Haiti. They have no one and they need help. They want to learn and go to school, they want a place to live, they want to be safe, and they want to contribute to society. Zanmi Lakay was created because of the growing needs of street children in Haiti, and my husband and I want to continue helping them on a more consistent basis. The seed of Zanmi Lakay was the Photography Workshops. My inspiration was the book, Shooting Back, about a successful project founded by Jim Hubbard while he was working with homeless children in Washington D.C.

Haiti has been plagued by political violence for most of its history. In the context of extreme economic and political instability, the vulnerability of children rises significantly.

Haiti is almost exactly the same size as Massachusetts, with a population of over eight million people; Massachusetts has 6.4 million. But per capita income in Haiti is under $400, compared to nearly $42,000 in Massachusetts. Haiti’s early history is slavery, succeeded almost continuously by even more brutal tyranny. As a result, 80% of Haitians live in abject poverty, at least 50% are illiterate, and two thirds have no formal employment. Over forty percent of the population is under the age of 15. According to UNICEF, more than 173,000 Haitian children are domestic workers (restaveks), 3,000 have been trafficked in the Dominican Republic, and 200,000 have lost one or both parents to AIDS. Many schools charge tuition, plus the costs of books, uniforms, food, and transportation. There are small group homes in Port-au-Prince, as well as food programs, and various NGOs that are helping street children. But the number of street children is estimated at 9,000-250,000, and obviously assistance is pitifully inadequate. In addition to our outreach program and Photography Workshops, Zanmi Lakay is supporting a group of homeless and at-risk youth with general living and educational assistance. We would like to do more.

If the children of Haiti have no future, neither does their country. Our purpose is to give some of those children a chance. We hope others who share their hemisphere will help us.

Jennifer Pantaléon
Board of Directors


Projects/Wish List

Outreach Services

Our outreach services grew from the needs of children actually living on the streets. Their sources of income are washing cars, begging, prostitution, working for bus drivers, or temporary manual labor chores amounting to nothing but maybe some food money.

For a handful of kids, we give shoes, jeans and other clothing, backpacks, care bags, cash for food, transportation, and living assistance. Care bags are large Ziploc baggies containing t-shirts, shampoo, soap, toothbrush and paste, and any other basic living supplies that are donated in enough quantity such as razors, combs, vitamin c candy, lotion, dental floss, small notebooks, and pencils and pens.

We also donate school expenses and art supplies, soaps and shampoos, clothing and shoes, backpacks, and care bags to children living in group homes. When we come across children with medical or dental problems, we find doctors and pay for medical expenses.

In 2004 when the US installed a new Haitian government after taking President Aristide out of the country, many of the children were threatened and living in danger becoming targets of anti-Aristide groups. We helped a number of these kids with visa and living expenses during that time so they could be safe.

We have been establishing relationships within the community creating a strong network so we can better access available resources that are needed to help the kids.
Teens in Transition Program

Support this program by simply donating through our website or send a check directly to Zanmi Lakay.

Zanmi Lakay is now supporting 12 teenagers that are either too old for children’s programs or were participants of programs that are now discontinued. We have known these boys during their many years of living in group homes and out on the streets. All of them are good students, and it is important they are allowed to continue their studies to improve their lives.

There are in desperate need of rent and educational fees for the 2007-08 school year. Zanmi Lakay needs to raise $3,000.00 immediately so these teens don’t end up back out on the streets.

Budget Breakdown: School Fees and Rent only

Port-au-Prince – Four Teenagers:
$1,000.00 - $150.00 each for school fees, uniforms, books
$400.00 for one year of rent in shared room

Jacmel - Eight Teenagers:
$2,000.00 - $150.00 each for school fees, uniforms, books
$800.00 for one year of rent in shared apartment

*Donations as of August 2007 $340.00
Donation Drives

We bring many donations to Haiti for the children living in the streets, in group homes, and also for other organizations working with disadvantage youth. We collect donations from private individuals, at our Ti Machés, and collaborate with schools organizing class projects, events and presentations about Haiti and the street children.
Supporting Art Programs

In the scenic town of Jacmel in southern Haiti, Skajak and ACFFC are two programs teaching children traditional arts such as paper mache, painting, and metal art. Local artists are mentors, meals are provided, and educational assistance allows children to attend schools. Zanmi Lakay donates art and school supplies.
Future Center

Zanmi Lakay was born to help fulfill the needs of street children in Port-au-Prince, and ultimately the best way to do that is to open a day center. The future includes establishing a creative day center and safe haven in Port-au-Prince where street children will receive basic needs including meals, school supplies, and a place to bathe and wash clothes. The site will also open an art studio and darkroom that doubles as a gallery with a computer center where kids can develop skills and exhibit their work. One of our main goals is to create economic opportunities. We will offer mentoring and tutoring, health care resources, educational assistance, and give a safe place to children where their talents can be nurtured.
Wish List

$3000.00 for Teens in Transition Program for one year
Desktop computers
Laptop computers
Digital cameras
School and art supplies
Teen size sneakers
School backpacks
Care bag items: toothpaste,Toothbrushes, tshirts, shampoo, soap
Decks of Cards, Dominos
Monopoly Game
Soccer Balls, Soccer Jerseys,Soccer Shoes
Boxing Gloves

Info Source/Changes:
Jen Pantaleon
(see full history)

Created At: Sun Jan 30 19:18:49 -0700 2011
Updated At: Sun Jan 30 19:24:20 -0700 2011
Updated By: LTel

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Item Qty Needed Urgency Load
* KITS, HYGIENE KITS Needed Urgent Show Edit
Art Supplies, General, Misc. (ANY/ALL Types) Needed Urgent Show Edit
Computer, Desktop Needed Urgent Show Edit
Computer, Laptop Needed Urgent Show Edit
Donations, Financial/Monetary Donations Needed Urgent Show Edit
Electronics, Media Equipment, Camera, Digital Camera Needed Urgent Show Edit
Games * (ANY/ALL Types) Needed Urgent * Show Edit
Mentor, Volunteer Needed Urgent Show Edit
School, Supplies * (ANY/ALL Types) Needed Urgent Show Edit
Sponsor, Volunteer, Child Sponsor Needed Urgent Show Edit
Sports Equipment, Balls, Soccer Balls Needed Urgent Show Edit
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Advocacy, Children, Restavek / Exploited Children Avail Show Edit
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Demographic Served: Children, Restavek Children Avail Show Edit
Sponsorship Program, Children (Education/Health Care/Food, etc.) Avail Show Edit
Support for Named Disaster: 2010 Haiti Earthquake Avail Show Edit
Support for Named Disaster: 2010 Haiti Earthquake, Orphanages/Childrens Homes Avail Show Edit
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