Dear Friend of the What If Foundation,
In times of crisis, we all hope to find someone with a kind face, an outreached hand, and the courage to stand tall for others. Rosie is one of these people. She has been a cook at the food program for 16 years, always there with a plate and a smile, no matter what. She’s seen the community through earthquakes, hurricanes, protests, health crises, and food shortages. And she’s watched a generation of Ti Plas Kazo’s children grow up, thanks to the meals you so generously support. The children call her “Manman” — Haitian Creole for mother.
I spoke with Rosie last week, and what she shared was heartbreaking. As you might have read in the news, Haiti is in the midst of a deep political and economic crisis, as Haitians from different walks of life are rising up to demand justice and accountability from the government. The effects of the crisis are hard-felt throughout the country – rising inflation, fuel shortages, growing insecurity, and closed schools and businesses, to name a few – making the need for food and education even more critical.
“I play cat and mouse every morning because it can be dangerous in the streets,” says Rosie. “I wake up, get ready, and look through a hole in my door to see if it’s safe to go out. If so, I rush to the Fr. Jeri School to start cooking. These are scary times, but I am determined to feed as many children as possible.”
She says she’s never seen Ti Plas Kazo like this before.
“The desolation is overwhelming. I see pregnant women walking for miles to get a meal at Lamanjay (the community food program). Whole families spending the day to get here, rushing to eat their meal, and walking the whole way back. It is extremely dangerous to travel right now, so I know we are their only choice. Even the littlest children in the neighborhood follow me to school sometimes and ask me ‘Manman, manman! are we going to eat today?’. The anguish on their faces…it breaks my heart.”
Please support the children of Ti Pas Kazo by making a donation today. Your gift will help Rosie and her cooking team keep the food program going strong during this critical time.
Over the last 19 years, the What If Foundation has partnered with Na Rive through many difficult times. This is what our founder Margaret Trost and Fr. Jean-Juste committed to when we started: To be there. Always. Come what may. To make sure every child we can reach has a meal to eat. A safe place to go. Access to education. Hope for a better future.
That’s the role Rosie, and everyone at Na Rive, plays. Their perseverance, love, and devotion to serving the children of Ti Plas Kazo is the constant in a harsh and highly unpredictable environment. The hot, nutritious meals Rosie cooks are the lifesaving constant in so many children’s lives. And you are the constant that makes it all possible. Your compassion and donations fuel hope for another day, every day. Knowing you care is what gives Rosie the extra strength to keep going.
“These are desperate times. Our country is being torn apart. But I know that the What If Foundation is there for us. I am so grateful that while I am doing everything I can, I know there are others standing with me and doing what they can too. We know we’re not alone, and this strengthens our determination to keep serving, keep helping, no matter what the day brings.”
My conversation with Rosie brought home to me the devastation of the current humanitarian crisis in Haiti and the level of courage and resilience required to live through each day. I hope you will join us in supporting Rosie, her cooking team, and everyone at Na Rive as they strive to serve as many people as they can through the programs you make possible. Thank you for your enduring support and for keeping Haiti in your hearts in these challenging times.
Lespwa fe vi (where there is hope, there is life).
Interim Executive Director