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Haiti crisis update #3 February 20, 2019
Last night everyone went to bed wishing we will wake up on our 3rd peaceful day. But early morning by 5:30 AM the news started to spread; at 4:30 AM bandits killed 2 police officers, 1 civilian and a bus driver. In the middle of the night, unidentified people spill oil on all hilly main roads that caused many cars accident. Parents who believe they will pick on this calm appearance to send their children to school have to keep them home again. Fear was hunting everyone again although many people were in the streets today to take care of personal matters, pick up a few children who went to school and some food for the day. Everyone was also in hurry to go back home, where is the only place to feel safe.
This morning we received 6 school project leaders out of 7 in the office. Jeanton couldn’t make it because they said they want to be at their project to receive the children who supposed to come for the first day since the crisis started. But we can’t reach them by phone to know how it was for them for today.
The attendance for Dano, Hesse and Bois Negresse are the same as on any normal day. Monday, Boyer received 400 children and 500 yesterday on a total of 650 children. Rigaud received 11 children yesterday since the crisis on a total of 700. By 9:30 AM as no other children shown they sent all home and hope next Monday, school will be open. Marigot’school never functioned since the crisis. All teachers came but no children although parents tried to send them to school but people hide in the bushes throwing rocks and glass bottles on them, afraid parents kept them home until everything is back to normal.
All school projects are living the same reality. People line up every day asking for food because they know the school is running a canteen for the children. Because of the rocketing price of food now at the rate of 50% higher, we are facing a drop of 2 days out of food for our children in all school projects through this year budget.
Dano is the first school project trying to drop 1 day off from the cooking days. So many children with stomachaches cried and many unhappy faces on the day they decided not to cook. So, they have to run to the kitchen and cook and never think of that anymore. Meaning it’s easy to say that we should reduce on our cooking days, but it’s not an easy situation where for this crisis Star of Hope school project in each community is the only place guaranteed for a hot meal for the children because there’s very few to cook for many families now because of high cost of food and shortage.
We are all afraid of not seeing where the solution will come to this humanitarian crisis and no leaders to believe.
Myrtha Dor (unedited)
HAITIAN URGENT HUMANITARIAN SITUATION/FACTS: Feb 18 2019
TODAY there are violent protests, gaping empty store shelves, burned cars, closed schools and an increasing number of casualties. At the heart of Haiti's acute crisis is an extreme food shortage that strikes the very heart of their poorest populations.
One Star of Hope Haiti staff member states: “The situation is terrible. We do not reach our children in our own projects with food". Please help us reach the people in need.
What is happening in Haiti right now is the culmination of years of various crisis situations resulting in escalating desperation among the population. Here, is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, only a stone’s throw from the USA; the people simply have reached their limit.
The last decade has been characterized by terror; the earthquake 2010, the cholera epidemic 2010-2017, the hurricane disaster 2016 and long periods of severe drought.
Food shortages throughout the country are the fact!
However, the current disaster is rather political. In less than two years, Haiti's currency, the gourde, has been halved in value compared to the dollar, while inflation and food prices have steeply increased. As an example, the imported rice, which is one of the country's most important basic products, has increased by nearly 25 percent in price in a short time. It may not sound like a disaster in itself, but for a family that was already on the verge of not being able to feed their children, they now must go without. This is a crisis.
Requiring the President's resignation
Investigations have revealed reports of billions of misappropriated government revenue from the oil company PetroCaribe that should have been used for the country’s infrastructure. The people feel that President Jovenel Moïse could have been involved.
The protesters have demanded his resignation, but Moïse refuses to step down.
At the same time, the Haitian police are powerless when shops are vandalized and road transports are looted. Haiti has no "military" to call in on situations like this; and after 13 years the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti left the country in 2017. In the city of Aquin, on the South coast, the police have reported that all 78 prisoners escaped from prison in connection with the riots.
Schools are closed
Star of Hope's school activity, which serves 3500 children, is also hit very hard. Inflation, the exchange rate, and the runaway food prices had already forced cuts when the riots continued.
Last week, four out of seven schools were forced to close indefinitely; Jeanton, Marigot, Dano, and Boyer, for security reasons, we had no choice. It is currently uncertain whether the schools in Rigaud, Hesse and Bois Negresse can stay open this week.
There is an extreme food shortage everywhere, and reaching out to school children is currently impossible because the transports are stopped and looted. In some instances, the only nutritious meal the children get each day was the school lunch. Now, that meal is not being served due to riots and safety.
Much too dangerous to leave home
Even the staff is in danger; Star of Hope's Myrtha Dor and Tony Boursiquot, fear for their lives.
- I haven't left the house since February 2, says Myrtha. “Tony has gone out a couple of times to probe the surroundings, but it is very dangerous”.
One thing is clear: once the uprising has ended, the food needs will be enormous in the country. Then we must be positioned to reach out with emergency assistance to the most vulnerable, and especially the children before it is too late.
Without help, they will be without food to eat. We cannot sit idly by.
PLEASE give a gift HERE but if you want to help more long-term - become a lunch buddy on the same form!
Large gifts are needed now with 100% to purchase of food in Haiti, contact Mark Presson 620 204 18 six five
You are so important to the children who benefit from your generous support. Thank You so much. Together with us, you have made great things happen this year. You have fed, given clean water, educated, kept healthy, built great things and brought children to Christ. What a great and huge thing we have done together, thank you.
We are proud of you and that we do not change our mandate. Right now, the children helped through you have gained a better life and are much better off due to you!
Thanks to you they are on the right path for a better future.
In the New Year, we will continue to do the work much the same way to get to the same goal of creating Godly men and women.
Here are a few examples of what is on our hearts in the New Year and where your blessings would go.
• Continue to ensure our children receive a better education through:
• Teacher training
• Continue the Lunch program “lunch buddy” (over 150 000 lunches has been funded because of our Lunch Buddy program)
• Drill more water wells.
• Provide more training and services to families caring for children with disabilities
• Conduct more Bible classes for adults, children, and youth
• Continue to develop a legacy giving fund.
• Start a daughter entity “Tent Mission”.
This year we will start a new entity called “Tent Mission” we have heard that some of you and some potential donors desire to give to a more evangelization specific bible true partner. That partner will be “Tent Mission” and will be under the Star of Hope umbrella.
Inversely those who want to give to different development and classic education can continue with Star of Hope.
Blessings and hope to you and yours for a wonderful New Year.
Star of Hope