Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

October 15, 2004

Registered Nurse to Present Oct. 19 Lecture about Work with Haitian Orphans

Jan Bonnema, a registered nurse, will be giving a lecture, "Haiti and the Children in Crisis," Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. in the Eric Johnston Science Center auditorium at Whitworth. Admission is free. For more information, please call (509) 777-4270.

In 1998 Bonnema and her husband, Bud, started Children of the Promise, which provides for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of orphaned babies in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere.

In 2000, the Bonnema family moved near the city of Cap Haitien, Haiti, where Jan established an orphanage. The Bonnemas adopted the first child they received. Since then, they have cared for more than 100 children, many of whom often arrive at the orphanage grossly malnourished and sick.

The Bonnemas try to return the children to their Haitian families, but that is often impossible because their parents have died. If the children cannot return to their families, the Bonnemas seek loving Christian families to adopt them. Children of the Promise has placed Haitian children in families in the United States, Belgium, Holland and Canada. For more information about Children of the Promise, please visit www.childrenofthepromise.org.

In addition to her Tuesday-evening lecture at Whitworth, Bonnema will conduct town-hall meetings with Whitworth and Mead High School students to tell them about the children, the orphanage, and the tremendous needs in Haiti, and to encourage students to become active in making a difference in Haitian children's lives.

Whitworth students in the Transforming Leadership class, taught by Associate Professor of Education Jack Burns, are working in partnership with Mead High School students this semester to raise awareness at about issues in Haiti and the work of Children of the Promise.Whitworth and Mead students will have opportunities to raise funds to help the orphanage build an orchard on acreage the orphanage owns but has not been able to develop.


Matt Kaemingk, Interim Assistant to the Project Director - Lilly Grant, (509) 777-4270 or mkaemingk@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, Public Information Specialist, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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