Gladys Thomas, President & CEO, Fondation Pour Les Enfants d'Haiti
Leader, manager, administrator, visionary, woman of faith, humble servant of the Lord, these are but a few of the ways Gladys Thomas can be described.
After completing her secondary school education in Haiti, Gladys went to the United States to study nursing. After receiving her degree, she went back to Port-au-Prince. She did not know how she would best serve, but she did recognize that her heart called her to work with children.
In 1981 Gladys was called by those responsible for the Caribbean Home for Children asking if she would become the head of the orphanage which had been abandoned by its previous administrator. Gladys arrived to find the kitchen bare and the mattresses infested. With great faith, Gladys ordered that the mattresses be burned. She immediately found the resources to renovated and improve the environment & surrounding for those children.
Over 35 years later, and she continues to strive to help Haitians, particularly children and provide whatever is needed.....sometimes asking for what others would believe to be impossible: construction of a pediatric hospital during a national embargo, land and buildings to house a village of children, construction and management of a secondary school to provide life-skills.
Nothing in Haiti comes easily. There have been, and continue to be, great challenges; but Gladys is always quick to give credit to God for all that has been accomplished. She takes great joy in the hugs of children living at Haiti Home, continuing to know them each by name, and pleasure in the success of those who grew up at the orphanage and now continue to greet her with hugs and salutations of, "Momma Thomas!"