Happy New Year!


I hope this new year is filled with many blessings for you and your loved ones!

As we enter this new year, I have great news to report about the Village of Joy! We received $36,222 in donations during November and December. Those gifts were matched by a generous donor, bringing the total amount raised during that 60 day period to over $72K. That is enough to build eleven new houses, and we are now over 70% of the way to our goal for fully funding the village!

To everyone who has supported this project to-date, thank you! In the weeks to come, I look forward to reporting back on the impact your contributions are making. My next trip to visit the Village of Joy will be in March. I expect to meet at least 10 additional families that will have received homes since my visit last June. I also hope to check-in with some of the families I met previously.

Thanks for your support!

Paula Mueller

Click here if you would like to Help 40 Families Escape Extreme Poverty

100% of the money donated for the Village of Joy project goes to the project, and all donations are tax-deductible through Food for the Poor, an 501(c)3 with top ratings from the Better Business Bureau and Ministry Watch.

Bare Essentials

  Meeting Marline and the family members who were home at the time of our visit.

Marline Fils-Aime is married and has eleven children and fourteen grandchildren. Many of them were at her house when we visited. We were not able to meet her husband. He is a fisherman and was out on the water.

It was difficult to pin down the exact number of family members living with Marline. If we understood correctly, a total of eleven people live in the house. ELEVEN! “How do you fit eleven people into a 12’ x 24’ house?” I asked myself. The question answered itself when we toured the house. There was next to nothing inside the house, which left lots of room for sleeping.

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Matching Gift Through December 31, 2016!!!

  Meeting Adele and her family. They are on the waiting list to receive a new home in the Village of Joy as well as a self-sustainment project.

This Giving Tuesday, please consider helping 40 families in Phaeton, Haiti escape extreme poverty. In solidarity with the people who live there, consider skipping a meal as they often do and donating $10 toward the cause, or eat the meal and donate $20. Then pass this request on to five more friends. Let's see how far this can go and how many families we can help before the end of the year with safe homes and a way to sustain themselves.

100% of the money donated for the Village of Joy project goes to the project, and all donations are tax-deductible through Food for the Poor, an 501(c)3 with top ratings from the Better Business Bureau and Ministry Watch. Through a generous donor, all donations received in November and December will be matched up to $50K!

Thanks for your support!

Paula Mueller

Click here to Help 40 Families Escape Extreme Poverty

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  Meeting Jean Daryse, a future recipient, and her family.

In addition to meeting with each of the families that had received homes, we were taken to the home of a future beneficiary. We wanted to see the family’s living conditions firsthand. The house—if you can call it that—is home to a family of nine. The future beneficiary—Jean Daryse Almark—and her husband have seven children ranging in age from six to fifteen. Some of the children attend school, but Jean Daryse’s husband, a fisherman, does not make enough money to send them all.

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Five More Houses In Progress

  Food for the Poor broke ground on five more homes in the Village of Joy.

Food for the Poor broke ground on five additional houses in the Village of Joy. When they are complete, twenty-eight destitute families will have received new homes. To all who have helped us get this far, thank you for your support. You are making a huge difference in the lives of the poorest of the poor!  

Stay tuned for further updates on the construction effort and the impact these homes are having in the lives of the destitute poor.

Twelve additional houses, forty sustainment projects, and a community center will be provided as funds are raised for them. Please consider making a donation to help.

With gratitude, 

Paula Mueller

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Help 40 Families Escape Extreme Poverty

All donations are tax-deductible, and 100% of each donation goes directly to the Village of Joy project.


  Edena and her three grandchildren.

Edena Seide is a widow. Her husband died two years ago from hypertension. She shares her home with two children and three grandchildren. One of her daughters has been raped a number of times, resulting in the births of her three grandchildren. Edena describes her daughter as “sick in the head.” Her daughter roams the streets during the day, shouting at no one in particular, and returns to the house at night to sleep. Edena takes care of her grandchildren. None of them attends school because she cannot afford to send them.

Edena carries a heavy burden, but that burden was made lighter when she received her house. She was blown away by the “richness of the gift of this house.” My hope for Edena is that we can provide a suitable sustainment project, so that she will be able to support her family and send her grandchildren to school.

When you support the Village of Joy, you help families like Edena's escape extreme poverty. Please consider donating today. 

Paula Mueller

Help 40 Families Escape Extreme Poverty

All donations are tax-deductible, and 100% of every donation goes directly to the Village of Joy project.

Simply Complicated


Living in extreme poverty makes life both simple and complex. On the simple side of the equation, parents don’t burn the candle at both ends, working too many hours so they can accumulate more stuff or so they can keep what they have. They also don’t run themselves ragged, trying to get their children to an endless list of daily activities. They work, and they care for their families. That’s basically it.

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Update: Hurricane Matthew and More

  Jeremie, West Haiti after Hurricane Matthew passed through. Picture by CNN (see Haiti Battered by Hurricane Matthew).

On October 4th, Hurricane Matthew made landfall in southwest Haiti as a category 4 storm. It devastated the area, destroying homes, infrastructure, and crops. By October 7th, the death toll in Haiti had risen to over 1,000 people. More than 300,000 people living in the region are now living in shelters.

I am happy to report that the people living in the Village of Joy, which is located in the northeast part of the country, fared much better. They received a substantial amount of rain, but everyone is okay.

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Flower Power

  Philomene and her two youngest daughters.

Philomene is a widow with three daughters. Her oldest daughter is working in the Domincan Republic. Her middle daughter wants to go into agriculture. Her youngest daughter isn't sure yet.

To support her family, Philomene runs a small business, buying and selling goods. She has very little, but she is thankful for what she has. Inside her house, she decorated all the rooms with cloth flowers. It looks pretty, and it is heart-warming to see people with so little find ways to make their house a home.

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Learning Gratitude

  This shack is a typical home in Phaeton, Haiti. Behind it stands a new home provided as part of the Village of Joy project.

Gratitude can be difficult for many. On a daily basis, we see people with so much more than we have ourselves, and we wonder how they got so lucky, or what they have done to be blessed with such riches. We tend to believe the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, and we want what we don’t have. It’s not uncommon for jealousy to arise and for us to covet what someone else has. I have been guilty of this, which is why my recent trip to Haiti was so eye opening and rewarding.

The Village of Joy in Phaeton, Haiti is an incredibly poor community. Most families live in homes built with sticks and mud. Their roofs leak, and, as the mud washes away over time, people can see into their homes. There is no way to keep out pests or the weather. The lucky families—the twenty-three families who have received homes so far—live in 12’ x 24’ concrete block houses that are smaller than the typical two car garage in the US. They have little in the way of possessions.

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