Why Haiti?

“The day before the historic January 12, 2010 earthquake, Haiti was already the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. Many problems are endemic to the country, including widespread malnutrition, poor education, and the highest rate of HIV and AIDS in the Americas. The epidemic is fueled by a high rate of poverty and a lack of quality education. Only 20 percent of children attend and fewer than two percent complete secondary school. Food costs in Haiti have risen 40 percent. Among the more vulnerable communities, chronic malnutrition is common, with moderate to severe stunting affecting 42 percent of children under the age of five.” World Vision

Consider these statistics:

  • 80% of the population lives on less than $2 per day.  (In Haiti the cost of a bowl of rice & beans for 1 person is about $1.50.  A gallon of gasoline is frequently over $6.00 per gallon.)
  • 9% of children in Haiti die at birth or as infants. 15% will die before they reach 5 years old.
  • The #1 killer of children in Haiti is diarrhea. The #2 killer is dehydration and malnutrition. (Dehydration & Malnutrition are polite terms for starving to death.)
  • 55% of the population has no access to clean drinking water. The people that do have access to clean water typically cannot afford it, so they often drink contaminated water anyway.
  • Haiti has approximately 70% unemployment. There is little to no industry or manufacturing in Haiti to provide a job base.
  • It is estimated that between 4%-7% of the population of Haiti is HIV positive.
  • Life expectancy in Haiti is 49 years.
  • There is no sewer system or trash collection system in Haiti. Electricity and running water is available in only a few of the major cities but is not dependable and very few people can afford it.
  • With no reliable energy source, Haitians have cut down trees for decades to make charcoal for cooking. This has caused the island nation to have 97% deforestation which has led to massive erosion problems and washing away of valuable topsoil.
  • Amnesty International has determined Haiti is tied for first place with Bangladesh as the world’s most corrupt nation.
  • statistics from Mosaic Village

When people ask “why Haiti?” the first thing that comes to mind are the faces of our precious girls and the many children we love in Haiti. We see them in these statistics. We long for them to change these statistics. We believe that change is possible, but it will not happen overnight. But overnight the instruments for change are growing. They are the children of Haiti…the next generation of leaders. They have become so dear to us that when we are with them we truly feel like we are home. Falling in love with our girls has made us want to learn all we can about who they are and where they come from. We strive to learn more each day about Haiti’s past, present and pray for the hopes so many have for her future.

“Though much of Haiti’s history is checkered with corruption, greed, betrayal and poverty, the nation continues to move forward. This speaks well of the majority of the people! Haitians want to succeed. What Haiti needs more than anything are leaders who look to the common good rather than their own personal wealth. Haitians long for the day when hunger and poverty are in the past…a day when every citizen has enough to eat and the means to provide an income for their family. That day is coming as young Haitians are rising up so their voices can be heard above the cries of destitution. The future of the nation is hinged on a generation of young people who are destined to become the leaders of Haiti.” –Haiti: Past, Present, Future by Timothy DeTellis

We know that we cannot fix Haiti. Her problems are many and complex and they will not go away for many years to come. But as we look into the faces of the next generation in Haiti, we see great opportunity….the opportunity to choose whom they will follow. Will it be God? We pray we can be His hands and feet and provide opportunities for the next generation in Haiti to know Him and that they will choose to follow Him. This is the hope of Haiti…the hope of us all.

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