Antonica and Theodore Payen managing summer camp.
The Alliance for Haiti’s Children was created out of friendship and in response to tragedy. Founders Ann Korologos Bazzarone, Antonica Payen, and Marcy Rehberger met in Fairfax County, Virginia in 1994 when Antonica and her family moved to the United States from Haiti. The families were close from the start. In 2006, Antonica’s eldest daughter, Doris, was killed in a car accident at the age of 19. In honor of Doris, Antonica and her husband Theodore decided to return to Haiti and heal themselves by helping their community.
In January 2010, Haiti experienced the most destructive earthquake in centuries. The community of La Vallee, located less than twenty miles from the epicenter in Leogane, experienced widespread destruction. Most homes and schools were damaged or destroyed, and the population increased by 30 percent, as displaced people sought refuge in the mountains. Marcy, Antonica, and Ann rallied together to support the La Vallee community by founding what was then called La Vallee Alliance. Soon it became clear that the struggling education system was a deep and enduring need in the community, and it became the organization’s main focus. Since 2014 we are the Alliance for Haiti’s Children.
Founders Antonica Payen, Ann Bazzarone, and Marcy Rehberger started the Alliance in 2010.