Haiti Team

sony

FOUNDER, HAITI | Sony Telfort

After completion of Miami Beach Senior Highschool, Sony returned to Cap Haitien to positively impact his community. In 2008 Sony assisted Helping Haitian Angels (HHA), translating for foreign volunteers in Haiti. In 2011 he was brought on full-time as manager of HHA orphanage. In addition he has worked at Sacre-Coeur in Milot for physical therapy, helping earthquake victims. Since the safehouse opened Sony has worked around the clock at Streethearts building the program to what it is today. He has a very close relationship with the Cap Haitien street community and considers the kids in the program to be his own children.

manno

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR | Emmanuel “Manno” Joseph

Emmanuel “Manno” Joseph has a degree in Education, Physiotherapy, and Computer Science as well as studies in Developmental Science. He is proactive in finding new ways to promote Streethearts and an advocate for the advancement of street children. His research and psychology background are crucial to our annual child evaluations as well as family social visits. Manno is very energetic and goes above and beyond his job description to provide a stable environment for our kids. He enjoys gospel music and trying new things, including sushi.

Manno was born and raised in Cap-Haiten where he currently resides with his wife and 2 children.

francis2

DIRECTOR, COMMUNITY PARTNERS | Francis Edouard

Francis lived in the States between the ages of 11 and 26, after which he moved to Haiti to make a change and discover his heritage. He was spurred into action against the exploitation of street youth after he overhead two young boys talking about prostituting for food. Francis started at Streethearts in 2013 as a volunteer and has since joined on full-time. His responsibilities include managing our workforce development program and community events. He firmly believes that no matter your background, all kids deserve a chance.

venel

DIRECTOR, SECURITY/MAINTENANCE | Venel Poliny

Venel has been with Streethearts since the day the safehouse opened in February 2013. Prior to that, he worked as a security guard at a local gas station. In his role at Streethearts he goes far beyond what is expected of an average security guard. Not only does he maintain safety and enforce rules; he also ensures the kids get to school on time, respect one another, complete their chores, and practice good hygiene.

Sibille-Buhlmann

ACCOUNTANT | Sibille Buhlmann

Sibille Buhlmann is a physical therapist who came to Haiti for the first time after the earthquake in 2010. Her main focus was to teach haitian medical professionals on Spinal Cord Injury, after completing her training in Switzerland. She worked for one of the largest SCI rehab centers in Europe for ten years before moving to Cap-Haitien, Haiti in 2014. She is in charge of a Neurorehab center at one of the local hospitals and is a teacher at a local school. She has been volunteering with Streethearts for over 2 years, and currently serves as their in-country Accountant working alongside Wegley, Higgenbotham, and Associates (Accounting/Tax services) based in Virginia (USA).

lavila2

SECURITY | Mercuis “Lavila” Pierre

As a father himself, Lavila sees all children as just as worthy of love as his own. Before working at Streethearts, he had a business buying and selling TVs and radios. Now he acts as a security guard and mentor to the kids in the safehouse, modeling and enforcing good behavior and habits. He wants to see all the children grow up to lead honest, safe lives.

remy2

SECURITY | Remy Jean

Remy is a former electrician who acts as our evening/night security. He is in the house from sundown to sunrise, managing the kids at their most energetic time – right before bed! After dinner and prayers, Remy makes sure the kids get to sleep on time and are peaceful throughout the night. His judgement is criticall in handling emergency situations that arise during this time, including the care of children escaping violence on the streets. He says it brings him joy every time he sees the kids eating, sleeping in a bed, and going to school. In his spare time Remy is learning English at a local facility.

smitty

CHRISTIAN STUDIES MANAGER | Smitty Petit-Frere

Smitty leads our Christian studies program. His weekly Bible studies at the safehouse are split by age to address the different positive messages each demographic needs to hear. Younger kids are taught forgiveness, sharing, and honesty, while teens learn how to live in Jesus’ image while navigating the trauma of an adolescence on the streets. As a youth pastor, Smitty has a special heart for the spiritual growth of children. He loves working with street kids because it creates a space for God to enter their lives and help change their situations.

linsey_jorgenson

FOUNDER | Linsey Jorgenson

Linsey got her start in International aid working for an orphanage in Cap-Haitien, Haiti. As Program Director, she focused on creating and implementing programs within the orphanage. In addition, she developed multiple projects within the “street” community. It wasn’t long before she realized how much time and effort were required to impact these street children that she fell in love with.

Linsey founded Streethearts in October, 2012. The model she created focuses on 6 areas necessary for children to cultivate and maintain a healthy heart – faith, nutrition, sports & recreation, safe habitat, community involvement, and education/job placement.

“Before you can help these kids make a difference in their lives, you have to provide an environment that allows them to start loving themselves and each other. Self-worth is the first step, but it takes time and patience. They need to learn and understand that they are worthy of a healthy life.”

Prior to her work in Cap-Haitien, Haiti she served as the Vice President of Marketing for Back on my Feet, a nonprofit combating homelessness through running.

In 2009, she worked for MOI, Inc. a commercial real estate company in Washington, DC. As Manager of Marketing & Business Development, she was responsible for generating new business relationships, launching re-branding efforts, and executing large-scale corporate events.

Linsey is a graduate of East Carolina University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication.