It is with great sadness that I share the news that in the evening of June 28, Lia van de Donk, the beloved director of Kay Angel and surrogate mother to twelve orphans, passed away, suddenly and from unknown causes.
Still in shock, her brothers Wieb and Pieter, our friend Gala and myself are en route to Jacmel to attend Lia’s funeral on Wednesday, July 4th, a date befitting Lia’s independent spirit.
Lia’s passing leaves a giant hole in the lives of the children; of NJ, her husband of less than one year; of her family in Holland; of her friends in Haiti and beyond, and in the community of Jacmel.
Not much is known about the circumstances of Lia’s death. According to her husband, she had been experiencing strong abdominal pains in the prior week. Returning from an errand, NJ found her on the floor of her apartment and rushed her to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
While no one can replace Lia as mother, anchor and advocate to “her” children, the search is on for the rare, right person to step into the role of caretaker, administrator, construction supervisor, community advocate, manager of visitor and donor relations plus countless other functions.
Among our immediate goals for this trip are helping cushion the impact on the children, putting in place temporary management and starting the search for a successor. I will report more news as they unfold.
Thank you for sharing our grief.