In 2009, the founder and president of Croatian Relief Services, Inc., Father Giordano Belanich, traveled to Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere, and was moved by the immense challenges that were posed and the lack of dignity and value that others accepted as normality amongst the poor. Because of this, Fr. Belanich moved forward with plans to provide aid to those who needed it most.
His vision was to serve the unwanted and orphaned children of Haiti. Shortly after his initial visit, his vision became a reality. In 2010, with the help and support of many donors, Fr. Belanich opened the Croatian Relief Services Orphanage on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, the country’s capital. After its initial opening, the focus was to help these children survive and help them become healthy. Within the year, through the reconstruction of the overall environment and community, the Croatian Relief Services Orphanage changed into a home and a family for these same children.
Following this change, the Croatian Relief Services Orphanage was renamed, taking on the name of Cardinal Aloysius Viktor Stepinac; one who strongly stood for the value and dignity of each and every human life.
Since then, Cardinal Stepinac Children’s Home is one set apart. Located on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, bordering Croix de Mission and Cite Soleil, Cardinal Stepinac Children’s Home serves as a community of men and women that provide a family for orphaned and abandoned children from all areas of Haiti. When referencing our family community here, it includes our service to each of over forty children, in providing them a home here with food, education, security and medical attention. We are not just an orphanage or just an organization that provides humanitarian aid; we are a family, within which we share love, difficulties, sufferings and joy, tears, laughter and so much more that is beyond the words that we read.