As you might have read in the news, Haiti is in turmoil. Disagreement over the end date of President Jovenel Moise’s five-year term and his handling of the economic, humanitarian and security crises in the country have sparked nationwide protests and unrest. Gangs, particularly one including police officers, have gained unprecedented power and brought fire and violence to the streets. People are unable to get to work safely, and many businesses and schools have been forced to close.
I’ve been in close contact with our partner Lavarice Gaudin, who against all odds, is keeping the food and education programs running. The students arriving at the Father Jeri School are facing an increased level of stress and trauma. Na Rive is looking for therapists who can help the children process the situation.
“I have never seen this level of unrest and violence before,” Lavarice told me. “The children need emotional support to cope with what is happening. We take care of them as best we can and are committed to help them complete their education. Education is the key to the problems we’re facing. It is not only a path out of poverty and strife. In times like these, it also gives parents peace of mind that their children are being fed and cared for. We are grateful to be able to provide this support and be the one constant for our community.”
Although my heart breaks from knowing the dire and unfair reality so many boys and girls in Haiti are living through, I also feel incredibly fortunate to be working with such an inspiring and dedicated Haitian partner. Lavarice and Na Rive are a testament to the power of hope and unity to overcome adversity. And so are you. None of this work would be possible without our committed family of donors and supporters. Together, we are building the future our mission describes:
A future where Haitians can grow out of the cycle of poverty and have the tools and access to forge a prosperous path. Where local communities become agents of change in their country, and a beacon of hope and pride. And where people from all backgrounds and places come together in solidarity with Haiti, to create change one small step at a time.
Thank you, from the deepest place in our hearts, for all you do to make opportunity and hope possible in Ti Plas Kazo.
Board Chair and Interim Executive Director
What If Foundation