The translation of the Haitian Creole phrase "Chez Moi" is "My Home" and this is what we
provide for our twenty abandoned and orphaned girls.
We rented the house shown above after the original orphanage was badly damaged
during the 2010 earthquake. The owners are planning to sell the house, so we
will be looking for another facility in the near future.
Chez Moi Orphelinat de la Grace is an accredited orphanage, registered and
inspected by the Haitian Government and the Institute of Social Welfare and Research (IBESR).
We respect the work of Mme. Arielle Jeanty Villedrouin, IBESR Director since 2011,
as she moves the country of Haiti towards implementing the Hague Convention.
Download the Operating License (PDF file)
Founder, Marie Major. "We are in God’s Hands"
History of Chez Moi
When Marie Major was 20 years old she moved from her native Haiti to the United States.
There she attended a Bible college in Florida and went on to become a U.S. citizen.
To support herself she worked as an in-home caregiver for an elderly couple. In 1994,
when she was 54, the couple died and she inherited the house and cars.
Not knowing what to do next, Marie decided to visit her native Haiti and discovered the
great need of her people there. At this point, as Marie tells it, she heard the call
from Jesus to return to Haiti to build a school and take care of orphans. She answered,
"There are two things wrong with your plan, Jesus. First, I don’t want to go back to
Haiti and live in a concrete house with a dirt floor and eat beans & rice every day.
Second, building an orphanage means taking care of children. And I don’t even like children."
But she followed her call and in 1994 Sister Marie sold her inheritance, returned to Haiti,
and built a home she named “Marie’s House of Grace,” an orphanage she owned and managed by
herself for abandoned and orphaned girls. In 2009, a mission team from Faith Lutheran Church
in Lexington, KY spent the night at the orphanage when their original lodgings had no room
for them. They fell in love with Marie and the girls and when they returned home, started
to find ways to help.
Marie’s daughter, Delette Legrand Matheus, took over as Executive Director when Marie
retired in 2012.
As the orphanage structure was badly damaged in the earthquake of January 12, 2010,
Delette Legrand Matheus rented a house and moved the girls to the new location,
renaming the orphanage "Chez Moi Orphelinat de la Grace."
Chez Moi Girls
Our eighteen-plus abandoned and orphaned girls are raised in a safe, loving Christian
family-style environment where they may grow and mature into responsible, self-confident
The girls speak Creole and French and the elder girls are also learning English. They are
either attending Primary or Secondary schools, and will have the opportunity in the future
to attend vocational school or college depending on their abilities and preferences.
All the girls have passed their official year-end examinations with high grades and we were
so pleased that Sarah, age 12, was named ‘Laureate’ of her Secondary school. It is truly a
blessing to invest in children’s lives.
In the capital city of Port-au-Prince, only 23% of adults have completed secondary school
and of those, only 16% passed the state graduation exam. Secondary education is a critical
component to alleviating the widespread suffering that poverty causes in Haitian society.
We want to give our girls the tools needed to become productive citizens of Haiti and to
empower other women to give a helping hand to the less fortunate in their communities.
Chez Moi Staff
Betany Clercival, Chez Moi On-Site Coordinator
Betany was born in St Michel de L'attalaye, although his family was a large one (Betany was the
ninth child out of ten children, only three of his parents' children are alive now. After his
mother died, Betany was placed in an orphanage in northwestern Haiti because his father was
financially unable to take care of him. Betany stayed in the orphanage from the age of nine
until finishing high school. After his father died, Betany moved back to St. Michel and
volunteered his services at Bethany Baptist Church and School until he was able to move to
Port-Au-Price three years ago. Since then he has attended theology school and we are proud to
announce that he recently graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree of Theology.
While in school, Betany offered his services to help with Grace Orphanage. After the 2010
earthquake and the orphanage had to move because of structural damage to buildings, Delette
Legrand Matheus, our Executive Director, approached Betany to ask for his help. Betany
accepted the position of On-site Coordinator without any hesitation, stating that he
"always wanted to be able to help in an environment such as Chez Moi" so he could give back
to help children with whom he relates because of his previous orphanage experiences. Betany
says, “Chez Moi Orphelinat de la Grace gives me the opportunity to increase my management,
and organizational skills. Being at Chez Moi has been the experience of a lifetime.”
Betany would like to earn a Masters in Theology with a Minor in Business Management. Right
now he is hard at work learning English.
We are so blessed to have three wonderful ladies, Norma, Anne Rose and Woudline, taking
care of the girls’ daily needs and making sure they are raised and nurtured in a safe,
Christian family environment.
The girls with On-site Coordinator Betany (L) and House Mother Norma (behind him)
As a registered Haitian orphanage, we are required to have the services of Aleve, our
visiting nurse, who visits Chez Moi twice a month to do routine wellness checks and is
also on call as needed between visits. We are fortunate to have such a dedicated person
on our staff.
Jean Louis Nesly, Government Social Worker
As a registered Haitian orphanage, we are required to have a part-time social worker on staff.
Mr. Nesly spends two days per week working with the girls to increase their self esteem by
helping them overcome traumatic events in their past. He visits their schools and works with
their schoolteachers to ensure that they are doing well in class and provides tutoring on an
Jean Louis Nesly
Mr. Nesly leads activities that encourage dialog between the girls and counsels them on issues
relating to integrity, respect and empowerment that will enable them to lead more productive
lives when they become adults.
Through the efforts of Mr. Nesly, even the shyest girls are realizing they have a voice and
deserve to take a role in the rebuilding of their country.