House of Hope I and II

House of Hope I and II

Ecumenical Committee for Peace and Justice (COPJ) 

The Ecumenical Committee for Peace and Justice (COPJ) is a non-profit, ecumenical, Christian Committee that sponsors House of Hope in the capital city of Port-au-Prince.  House of Hope is a program that benefits children laboring as domestic servants, assists young moms, single girls, and a few elderly women who have been abandoned by providing them with a safe place where they can learn social skills such as conflict resolution and a professional trade. House of Hope also has a broader program to promote peaceful resolution of conflict within the community through leadership development for community leaders.

House of Hope II was started in 2007 in the areas of Lasaline, the largest slum area of Port-au-Prince, located close to the port itself. Because of the proximity to the port, the hurricanes in late summer 2008 had profound affects on the center as well as the neighborhood. Until the House of Hope II location could be cleaned up and dried out, both programs were housed at the original House of Hope facility. While some may focus only on hurricane recovery, House of Hope continues to promote development at the same time.

Even when not being impacted by hurricanes, the area around House of Hope II is a difficult place to live. Children in these communities are subject to a modern form of slavery and live in constant danger and threat of rampant violence. Lasaline is often too dangerous for even peacekeeper troops. It is here that the COPJ began a second site because these are the poorest among the poor and most in need of the services of House of Hope II. Their capacity before the hurricanes had reached 80 children, most between the ages of eight and fourteen. They provide lunch Monday through Friday, often the only meal the children have for the day. Programming includes conflict resolution, literacy programming, support for former gang members in conflict transformation, and vocational training.   

House of Hope is intentional about being in dialogue with parents and custodial guardians, schools, and churches. House of Hope works to affirm the human rights of children including labor rights, and safety from rape and violence.