Every year, here at Haven, we are proud to present the William Jefferson Clinton Goodwill for Haiti Award to those who have dedicated their lives to the people of Haiti.
Specially endorsed by the former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, the Goodwill
for Haiti Award celebrates those who devote themselves to the people of Haiti and who, through their leadership and commitment, make a remarkable contribution in bringing about sustainable social change in the country.
There are countless unsung heroes who, with unwavering generosity and determination, work tirelessly towards a better future for Haiti: this award is an important opportunity to commend their work and vision. From offering free education and medical care, and providing safe homes for children, to caring for people with disabilities and fighting for civil rights, our award recipients are each leaving an indelible mark in Haiti.
The award is presented at our annual Haiti Ball, a highlight of our Haiti Week celebrations. You can find out more about each of our awardees below.
2018 | Morgan Wienberg
With unrelenting courage and determination, Morgan Wienberg has dedicated her life to changing the future for vulnerable children and families in Haiti. Raised in the remote region of Yukon in northwest Canada, Morgan Wienberg first arrived in Haiti in 2010, at the age of just 18, moved by news of the devastating earthquake. There, Morgan volunteered in an orphanage, where she slept on the ground alongside 75 children, and saw them being cruelly neglected, beaten, and severely malnourished.
Morgan couldn’t walk away from the situation, and what was initially intended to be a short trip turned into a calling. She reunited 15 children with their families while still living in the orphanage, and began advocating to shut the orphanage down. Motivated by her experiences, in 2011, Morgan co-founded Little Footprints, Big Steps (LFBS), a child protection organisation focused on safeguarding vulnerable children in Haiti. LFBS supports children to transition from orphanages or from the streets, operating transitional safe houses where they are given the full care they need, with the goal of reuniting them with their families. Morgan and her team work with families so that they can support themselves fully and build towards a self-sufficient future together.
Morgan, now 25, continues to live in Haiti full-time. The nature of her work has seen Morgan attacked, abused, and facing constant threats, but that has never once stopped her conviction. An active campaigner, a fearless leader and a passionate visionary, Morgan is an exceptional recipient of this award.
2017 | Gregory Grene and Timothy Perutz
Gregory Grene and Timothy Perutz received the 2017 award in recognition of their impact in Haiti through the Andrew Grene Foundation (AGF), which they set up in memory of Andrew Grene, Gregory’s twin brother and Timothy’s close, lifelong friend. Sadly, at the age of 44, United Nations (UN) worker Andrew passed away during the powerful earthquake on 12 January 2010; he had spent three years working in Haiti, dedicating himself with true compassion and determination. Devastated by their loss but hugely inspired by Andrew’s love of Haiti, Gregory and Timothy established the AGF mere hours after learning that Andrew had lost his life.
The AGF supports the people of Haiti through education, loans, and building projects. Every day, its Andrew Grene High School welcomes hundreds of students from Cité Soleil, one of the most intensely challenged communities in Port au Prince. At the same time, the AGF has partnered with Fonkoze, a microcredit institution in Haiti, to set up the Andrew Grene bank in the remote area of Aquin. Allowing clients to borrow small amounts of money, local people can use this bank to set up their own businesses to support their families.
Through the AGF, Gregory and Timothy are transforming the lives of thousands in Haiti, and both abundantly share the passion and empathy that Andrew felt for its people. Continuing his legacy, they are bringing to life all that Andrew devoted himself to: dignity, hope and pride for the people of Haiti.
2016 | Sister Patricia Dillon and Sister Jacqueline Picard
In 2016, we were honoured to present the award to joint recipients for the first time, celebrating the fantastic work and unwavering generosity of Sister Patricia Dillon and Sister Jacqueline Picard. Both have worked tirelessly in the community of Gros Morne for many years.
There, Sister Patricia has been working in the local school, Jesus-Mary Parish School, which serves 520 students and employs 27 teachers and support staff. She has helped to establish a women’s group in the community, created a coffee co-operative, and organised IT classes for both adults and children. Concerned with environmental protection, Sister Patricia has also coordinated reforestation efforts and hired technicians to assist local farmers in methods of increasing production.
Meanwhile, Sister Jacqueline has worked at the heart of Alma Mater Hospital for a great number of years, first as a nurse, then in overseeing a programme for malnourished children, and, more recently, as a member of the founding Board of Directors. She also helped to oversee a health-screening programme for the 15 parish schools in the rural areas of the community, and has welcomed and coordinated medical and surgical groups who have served the people of Gros Morne.
2015 | Yvrose Telfort Ismael
Our 2015 awardee, Yvrose Telfort Ismael, has devoted her life to those experiencing poverty and difficulties in her native Haiti.
Trained as a nurse and educator, Yvrose lived in the United States for 20 years, before ultimately returning to Haiti. Today, she and her husband, Pierre Richard, manage three free schools in the country, offering a free education and a daily meal to hundreds of local children. They also live in and run Hope House Haiti, home to over 30 children who they have taken in as their own, having first rescued children after the 2010 earthquake. Yvrose remains a large supporter of the local community, donating clothes, shoes and food to people in need and even fishing lines for the men in the community so they can earn a living, and running mobile medical clinics. She and Pierre Richard continue to work voluntarily and entirely unpaid.
2014 | Boby Duval
Human rights activist Boby Duval received the award in 2014, recognising his many years of unrelenting advocacy work in Haiti.
Imprisoned without charge and tortured for 17 months under the “Baby Doc” Duvalier regime, Boby was on the brink of death when Amnesty International and President Jimmy Carter secured his release in 1975. Since then, he has fought for civil rights and accountability. He has founded several rights-based NGOs in Haiti, addressing the United Nations and United States Congress, and regularly exposing human rights violations through the news agency he established and edits, Haiti Info. His organisation, the League of Political Prisoners, has freed over 1,500 political prisoners detained without due process.
2013 | Gladys Thomas
Gladys Thomas is an influential leader, manager, administrator, and visionary, taking home the award in 2013.
After studying nursing in the United States, Gladys returned to Haiti, shocked by the poverty in which her native country remained. In 1981, she took over the management of the Carribean View Home, an orphanage for 45 children which had been abandoned by its previous administrator. Today, she manages what she grew out of it: the Foundation for the Children of Haiti, an NGO comprising three orphanages, three elementary schools and Hope Hospital, a full service hospital offering quality care to the population of Port-au-Prince. Hundreds of children are in her care – along with 100 employees – and she has many more projects planned to keep her vision growing.
2012 | Gena Heraty
The inaugurual winner of the award in 2012 was Irish-woman Gena Heraty, who first arrived in the Haitian mountains of Kenscoff in June 1993.
Over twenty years later, Gena still lives in Kenscoff, where she is Director of Special Needs Programmes at the charity Nos Petits Frères et Sœurs. There, she manages Kay Christine, home to over 30 children with often significant physical and intellectual disabilities. As part of Nos Petits Frères et Sœurs’ external programme, Gena also developed two rehab clinics where children with disabilities and their mothers can avail of physical therapy and care. A walk around the state-of-the-art service in Tabarre which is full of children and grateful parents highlights the continued demand on these services.