For nearly 20 years, Susie Krabacher has provided care and education to abandoned, orphaned and disabled children in Haiti through her organization, Haiti Children (formerly Mercy & Sharing*). Haiti Children has never been about creating dependencies. Rather, Susie works to determine the best way to help each child, each widow, each woman, and each student become independent. While Haiti Children sows the future of independence — both for individuals and for Haiti as a nation — children are dying today. That’s why Susie runs Haiti Children with a two pronged approach: providing for orphans and school children today while creating independence for them tomorrow.
World of Children® Award first honored Susie with a Humanitarian Award in 2006 because of her determination to overcome both human and man-made disasters. World of Children also honored Susie with the 2013 Alumni Award in celebration of the significant work she and her organization has accomplished since 2006. The earthquake in 2010 wrought devastation in Haiti, yet Haiti Children continued to grow programs and services throughout this difficult period. Now, Susie is poised to ensure that Haiti Children is working in Haiti for at least 20 more years – regardless of the obstacles in her path.
Susie travels to Haiti about every 6-8 weeks to work on behalf of those who are most vulnerable. Haiti remains a dangerous environment and she must hire personal security guards to accompany her. When Susie is not in Haiti, she works from her home in Colorado. She does not take a salary for her work, but spends over 50 hours each week advocating for the care and education of over 2,000 people a day. Krabacher also travels throughout the U.S. to deliver numerous presentations to spread awareness and generate support for Haiti Children.
Susie’s compassion has been unyielding to the threats of peril such as civil unrest, gangs, government corruption and some of the worst living conditions in the Western Hemisphere. From the beginning, Susie felt called to help the children whose lives were haunted by these dangers every day. Undaunted by setbacks which stagnate or end the work of other organizations in Haiti, Susie continues to blaze a path of hope and opportunity for orphans and school children.
Today, Haiti Children has over 1,100 students enrolled in three schools and vocational training programs. All of these children receive vaccinations each year as well as a hot, nutritious meal every day.
Haiti Children also cares for 126 orphans around the clock, 62 of whom are disabled. Disabled children are ostracized in Haitian culture and Haiti Children is currently the only organization in Haiti that takes these children in. They receive full medical care, including physical therapy and surgery, food, clothing, education, shelter, and loving care.
One of the ways that Haiti Children remains sustainable is because Haitians run their operations. The organization employs over 200 Haitians with only 4 U.S. Employees, none of whom live in Haiti.
Susie has not only come to aid of thousands of children over the years, but has also made great strides to develop effective relationships with the Haitian people. Her compassion and determination has gained the respect of those in power and the kinship of those in poverty, particularly the children who call her “Mama Blanche.” Now, more than ever, Susie is inspired to help a new generation of Haitians move their country toward prosperity.
*Susie was honored in 2006 and 2013 when her organization was called Mercy & Sharing. This website has been updated to reflect the name change to Haiti Children. While the name may be different, the mission to help Haiti’s vulnerable children remains the same.