An orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, will get aid from the Boomer’s Legacy Fund today, thanks to the efforts of a Haitian-born Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) member deployed on Operation HAMLET.
Major David Roberge, a Plans & Evaluation Staff Officer within the United Nations headquarters in Port-au-Prince, spearheaded the initiative which will award the Foyer de l’Action pour l’Avenir $9,775 worth of household items, school materials, potable water and children’s clothing.
A relationship between deployed CAF members and the orphanage was established years ago. Members regularly visit the orphanage to provide support and to spend time with the 10 children, aged 6-15. The orphanage does not receive government funding and relies on private donations to meet their operating costs.
Since its establishment in 2006, Boomer’s Legacy has provided funds so that CAF members, serving on deployments around the world, could help those most affected by war and poverty – with an emphasis on healthcare and education programs for women and children.
“The opportunity to deploy to Haiti and to get involved with the orphanage showed me how lucky I was. I was born in this area and the kids growing up in orphanages, that could have been me. Not everyone was lucky like I was, so I wanted to help.”
Major David Roberge, Task Force Port-au-Prince, Operation HAMLET
• Under the grant, the Foyer de l’Action pour l'Avenir will receive: a refrigerator, an oven, a generator, a year’s supply of potable water, 12 bed mattresses, children’s clothing and shoes, and school materials—including uniforms and books for each child.
• Boomer’s Legacy is named after Corporal Andrew “Boomer” Eykelenboom, a CAF medic, who was killed in Afghanistan by a suicide bomber on August 11, 2006. His death was the catalyst for creating this foundation to help CAF members make positive differences in the lives of others in areas where the Canadian military has operated.The fund is managed by the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services.
Operation HAMLET is the Canadian Armed Forces’ participation in the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, which is commonly known by its French name, Mission des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation en Haïti, or the acronym MINUSTAH. The Canadian Task Force deployed on Operation HAMLET comprises five staff officers serving in senior appointments at MINUSTAH’s military headquarters. The Task Force Commander serves as Chief of Staff and is currently the MINUSTAH Acting Deputy Task Force Commander.