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Avek Ou means "with you" in Haitian Creole. We embrace and empower the children in our care to heal, believe, and achieve.  

Who we are.

Our history

Our strength

Our mission 

Our youth home

Avek Ou—"with you" in Haitian Creole—was born out of love for children in Haiti. Founder Jennifer Berkemeier made several trips to the country, working in both urban and rural settings, helping to rebuild an orphanage and school after the devastating 2010 earthquake. In any society, children are the most defenseless and vulnerable, and ultimately, the most integral to its success. In 2012, Jennifer adopted a beautiful 4-year-old girl from Haiti who inspired the creation of Avek Ou.

We are at the forefront of a movement in Haiti to shift away from the traditional "orphanage solution" to the country’s considerable unhomed child population. We firmly believe the strength of Haiti's future success lies in the empowering of its youth and, thus, the bolstering of each community—one beautiful child at a time. 

Avek Ou provides security, safety, and respite to children in Haiti who have experienced unspeakable trauma, including gangs, abuse, and homelessness. Once these children have been placed by Haitian social services in our FEJI Youth Transition Home, they receive a medical checkup, access to counseling, education, food and nutrition, and mentoring. They also receive the opportunity to take dance and art lessons and learn entrepreneurial and life skills. All staff are screened through background checks. Once a child has been approved for placement, they are welcomed into a loving family situation. Our goal with each child is to support them as they transition to a future of independence: contributing to their family, community and country. 

When a child arrives at our FEJI Youth Transition Home, they are welcomed by the other children and the staff. The child shares a comfortable room with another child and receives their own bed, clothing, and toiletries. Within the first two weeks of their arrival, they receive a medical checkup and any necessary follow-up care. They are assessed for any needed counseling and for educational placement. Each child is unique, with their own beautiful strengths and challenges, yet the goal is the same for all—to locate and place them back with a loving Haitian family.

Our inspiration.

We partner.

Avek Ou and the FEJI Youth Transition Home are proud to partner with Child Hope International, a nonprofit organization that practices a transition model of caring for Haiti's orphaned children.  The incredible people at Child Hope offer training services to the Directors and staff at our Transition Home, enabling them to fully support the children in our care.  Child Hope also contributes funds and in-kind items to the transition families, ensuring the care continues and the child will thrive.  

For more information on Child Hope International, please visit their website:

HOME - Child Hope International

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