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Don De Dieu Orphanage

Even before the earthquake in January of 2010, Faith Missions International (FMI) and the Don De Dieu Orphanage were thriving in Port-au-Prince. FMI had already purchased land and had drawn up plans for their new expanded orphanage. The devastating earthquake, however changed everyone’s lives. Instead of having a long time line to build a large new orphanage, the kids were forced out of their damaged home into tents on rented property until their new home could be built. FMI contacted Alley Poyner Macchietto to aid in the quick design and construction of their new home.

Lead architects Perry Poyner and Mike Thompson enlisted me to help in the design. Another critical member was Todd Heistand, a developer and contractor from Iowa who worked on large-scale projects throughout Omaha with Alley Poyner Macchietto. The project was completed entirely pro-bono. Mr. Heistand, made several trips down to Port-au-Prince to oversee construction of the final design. On one of these such visits, I went along helping to assemble the roof trusses for the bunks and the large covered indoor-outdoor space.

Working with the director of the orphanage, the members of the design team, Mr. Heistand and the kids benefiting from our work was a very rewarding experience.

Principal: Perry Poyner Project Architect: Mike Thompson. Drafting and Design: Emily Van Court. Renderings: Brad Simonsen. Construction administration: Todd Heistand.


International Design, Design-Build


Faith Missions International


Natural Ventilation, Passive Solar Design, Local Material Selection, Craftsman Training