Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. La Gonâve is a Haitian island located 25km off the mainland where approximately 130,000 people reside. Used as an island of exile for undesirables many years ago, La Gonâve is known as “the island that Haiti forgot”. The capital of La Gonâve is Anseà-Galets with a population of approximately 52,000. The uemployment rate on the island is 80% with a mere 40% literacy rate. Only 20% of the population have access to public education.
2019 has proved to be a particularly volatile year for the people of Haiti. The country has seen a lot of protests since February because the government is being held to account concerning their historic misuse of public funds. It was intended that the funds in question be used to help with social programmes and to assist families with food and housing. But the inflation rate is currently just under 20% and the local currency (Haitian gourde) has become over-inflated making basic necessities - like food - unaffordable for the average Haitian. This issue with the basic affordability of food is an alarming problem & one that requires action
Encouragingly, our partner in Haiti - Haiti Christian Schools - have provided over 130 students with food every day this year! Despite the corruption and anxiety, they have also expanded the programme into the summer months, something for which both children and their families are very grateful. However, in the last 6 months, because of this associated governmental turmoil, the cost of food has tripled in Haiti. Therefore, making food available at the schools has been vital because for many children it will be the only meal they will receive all day. The people of Haiti need your help; the giving that you provide - of any amount - will literally help to put food in the mouths of these dear people.
News From Haiti
Sonson is a 15-year-old grade 9 student in Haiti and his parents are sadly separated. He mostly lives with his Mum because her house is nearer to his school and the main city. Sonson loves his Mum and is grateful for her because she works to provide him with food and clothing. He has attended Haiti Christian Schools for the last four years and is thankful for the opportunity of an education that neither his Mum nor Dad could ever have afforded. But the exorbitant costs of food continue to be a major problem for Sonson and his family.
Haiti Christian Schools are helping to alleviate the problem for children like Sonson via both their feeding and agricultural training programmes that enable them to learn how to grow food to contribute to the costs of their household. Sonson passed through an application and interview stage for the training programme before being accepted to work for a small measure of payment. This programme assists families with some tangible relief amidst the pressures and injustices of governmental corruption and related poverty.
The significant unrest in Haiti during 2019 has meant that missions trips have been cancelled as well as missionaries actually having to be evacuated. Consequently, the work of Haiti Christian Schools' food programmes has never been so a) needed and b) isolated.