Haiti has seen more than its share of strife: earthquakes, hurricanes, epidemics, and violent civil unrest. In all my visits to Haiti I have never had a Haitian say to me, “Why us? What did we do to deserve this?” I believe this is due to Haitians having a deep reservoir of hope thanks to their tremendous faith in God.
Thanks to our many friends and fellow Catholics, the Director, Outreach to Haiti Outreach to Haiti ministry has been walking alongside the Haitians in Port-au-Prince and providing support for almost forty years. We are a two-fold ministry that employs 21 Haitians to carry out our work in Haiti because our mission is, Haitians Helping Haitians.
I recently asked Jude Cangé, our Director of Operations to talk about life in Haiti right now. He shared the following regarding the past twelve months. Please note that English is his third language.
“Knowing the Kris Wa community and its surroundings rely heavily on our help to survive, and on the base of our commitment to serving the poorest and most vulnerable people, our staff, like warriors, had braved dangers, gone through inflamed tires, dodged rock shots and moved through violent demonstrations to come and support malnourished children, pregnant women, and school, and university students with fragile socioeconomic conditions.
The Covid-19 made our work more and more complicated. Several people in the Kris Wa community have been infected and some have died. Despite the complexity of the situation, our engagement to serve and our compassion for our Haitian brothers and sisters in great need encouraged us to give our best to bring hope to those who suffer in their flesh, their soul and their heart because of extremely difficult living conditions.
Thanks to the activities of Norwich Outreach to Haiti, 203 children and young adults were able to attend schools and universities, more than 9,000 doses of vaccine were administrated to about 1,000 children, 157 malnourished children including 89 suffering from acute severe malnutrition have received nutritious food and medicine to help them regain a normal state of health, 214 pregnant women were able to get regular obstetrical care, 190 were benefited from gynecological services, about 1,300 children have received pediatric care, 518 have received various health care services and food kits and masks were distributed to 236 people to facilitate them fighting against the spread of the Covid-19.
We will continue working hard to help thousands of people in our areas of operation because, for us, we are contributing to something far more important than ourselves: giving hope to this community to help people having a brighter future and contributing to the sustainable development of their country.
Our mission at Outreach to Haiti has never faltered. We commit ourselves daily to the work of helping Haitians help Haitians.”
Our staff in Haiti and the support shown by our friends and fellow Catholics remind us that, “We belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others.” (Romans 12:5)
By Susan Wallace, Director, Outreach to Haiti