Mission Statement: “Sonje Ayiti is a group of Haitian and international humanitarians who collaborate to uplift the Haitian community through education, economic development, and health promotion.”
Who / What is Sonje Ayiti
Sonje Ayiti was founded in the summer of 2004 by Gabrielle Aurel.
Gabie was born and raised in Haiti. Her parents were among the first wave of Haitians to make the treacherous journey to the United States. Her father sailed to Miami when Gabie was only 2-years old. Three years later, her mother attempted the journey and sadly never arrived.
Gabie and her younger brother were raised in a Christian boarding house and attended private school with the funds sent by her father. After some very tough years when they were forced from the boarding house & school due to a lack of funds, Gabie was fortunate enough to move to the U.S. for college.
In 2004, Gabie returned to visit Haiti. She ran into a former classmate, who was so ashamed of her current conditions that she couldn’t look Gabie in the eye. It was in this moment that Gabie knew her calling is to elevate the awareness about the plight of Haitian street kids, men and women and to create a Haitian dream that all children can strive to reach.
That summer Gabie founded Sonje Ayiti – which means Remember Haiti – to begin the process of rebuilding Haiti in a sustainable manner – and in a way that at the very lease will bring hope, pride & dignity to the Haitians she touches.
Sonje Ayiti Leadership
Marie Gabrielle “Gabie” Aurel – CEO
With a diverse background in government and development work, ranging from Child Survival programs to HIV/AIDS prevention projects, Gabie is main driver of all Sonje Ayiti projects in Haiti. Her entrepreneurial leadership and empathy make her the ideal candidate to execute live-changing projects in a country that possesses many socioeconomic challenges.
Steve Mathieu – COO
Steven, an MBA from University of Phoenix, is a former US-Navy and Department of Treasury employee. He is passionate about the plight of Haitians and is committed to help reverse the current deterioration of the country through his work with Sonje Ayiti.
Katie Kool-Wray – Finance Director
Katie, an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis, has worked at Procter & Gamble in Finance & Accounting for over 20 years. She and her husband, Frank Wray, have been active with Sonje Ayiti for 5 years working on the education arm. They have led fundraising and development efforts for the Cima School of Hope and college scholarships for 4 women.