The political crisis in Haiti continues to deepen. Last week, the country laid its former President, Jovenel Moïse, to rest and an interim unity government led by Ariel Henry, the prime minister President Moïse had designated shortly before his assassination, was appointed with backing by foreign powers. Yet everyday life is still far from stable. During the funeral service last Friday, violent protests erupted bringing further unrest to a situation already mired with extraordinary hardship. In my latest conversations with Lavarice Gaudin, Na Rive Program Director, he shared:
“The streets have become so dangerous now, people are afraid to leave their homes. We are grateful to be able to keep providing food for the community and to support our students through these dark times. But everyone feels a deep uncertainty. It pains me that all Haitians are suffering from the despicable acts of a few, and that political forces out of our control continuously upend life as we know it. But this moment only reinforces our mission. Our nation needs a new kind of leader, and it is up to us to foster them.”
We stand in solidarity with Na Rive and Haiti in these challenging times. As a sovereign nation, Haiti should have the right to rebuild their country without undue influence, as they fought for 230 years ago when they became the first free black republic in the western hemisphere and a symbol of hope and freedom around the world. We believe Haitians know what is best for them and their country and bear witness to this year after year in our partnership with Na Rive. We also know that, while sustainable change is achieved from the ground up, with local organizations in local communities, it must be supported on the national and international level, too.
Stand in solidarity with our friends in Haiti.
Please donate to support sustainable change from the ground up.
What If Foundation’s Board Member and Haitian photojournalist Wadner Pierre agrees:
“The current socio-economic and political situation in Haiti is alarming. Nonetheless, Haitian people can and will have to address the root causes of the country’s problems and implement appropriate solutions. They will certainly work with their international partners and other stakeholders to ensure it is an inclusive process. However, they must be the ones dictating the process. It cannot be the other way around. The one-size-fits-all foreign intervention model has not been working for the past 200 years, and we cannot expect it will work this time. The What If Foundation’s community-based approach is a template that should be used at the national and international level to support short and long-term development goals in Haiti.”
In the meantime, Na Rive carries on with their work, as they always have. And we carry on standing with them, as we always have. Piti piti na rive. One meal, one student, one future leader at a time.
With gratitude and hope,
What If Foundation