Our friends in Haiti continue to face hunger, fear and uncertainty every single day. In times like these, the fulfillment of basic needs takes on deeper meaning. A simple, warm lunch provides critical nutrition, but it’s also a reprieve: a chance to nourish the spirit and find hope and strength in community. Our partner Na Rive has heard this time and time again from the children and families who attend the Food Program, but the message is even louder now. Na Rive’s Program Director, Lavarice Gaudin, shared a couple of their stories with us:
“I like how nice people are here, and I love seeing some of my friends, and eating a hot meal. It makes me feel happy.”Riber Jean, five years old.
Riber lives only a few blocks away from the Food Program. He has been going to the program since he was born and loves eating there with his mom and younger sister. His father has a disability and stays at home with his aunt, so Riber and his mother always bring some food back with them to feed the rest of the family. They feel so lucky not to have to travel far to get a meal, given all the violence on the streets at the moment, and to have a constant source of nourishment and refuge in these difficult times.
“I love coming here! Papa lost his job so we don’t have food at home. And I love Manman Rosie [Head Cook at the Food Program], she always makes me giggle!”Jeanty Simon, four years old.
Jeanty recently moved with her parents, siblings and grandmother to the Ti Plas Kazo neighborhood. They used to live in downtown Port-au-Prince, but the gangs have increasingly taken control of the area, so her parents escaped to the north of the city in search of safety. Jeanty’s father had to leave his job selling peanuts at the market and is still looking for ways to make ends meet. The Food Program offers Jeanty and her family a welcoming and safe space to eat and they are so grateful for it.
Unfortunately, the violence in Haiti has not abated. But neither has the hope and the devotion of Na Rive. Thanks to your support, these children have a moment of normalcy each day — a meal to sustain their health, their sense of community and their dreams of a better future. This is how we help keep hope alive. Together, one meal at a time. Thank you for all that you do, and for always keeping your hearts open for the children of Haiti.
Board Chair and Interim Executive Director
What If Foundation