The schools are open and staffed, but that is about the only good news from Haiti.
Hunger continues to threaten Haiti's children, violent protests, gaping empty store shelves, burned cars, and injured friends and neighbors. So this is how it has been in Haiti during the first months of the year. The ravages have expired, but the root of the evil remains and there continues to not be enough food for the children.
Keeping hunger at bay is one of the pillars of Star of Hope's activities!
In countries such as Haiti, the school lunch is often the only real meal children get daily. No one survives without food, and even the hunger itself poses a threat to our children's future because no child can develop on an empty stomach. Not even the most talented school pupil can absorb knowledge when the body screams for nutrition. Therefore, our school lunches are crucial both for the well-being of the children right now and for their futures.
One who has seen the importance of food is our Photographer and child champion, Dennis Thern. Dennis has spent almost two of the last 10 years in Haiti. Over the years Dennis has visited many homes of our sponsored children.
"These children have often not had breakfast at home, and you know how it can feel when you are hungry not having anything to eat. A child who is hungry loses concentration, cannot absorb the teaching and cannot cope with problem-solving. Most live very, very simple. There is no electricity so they have no refrigerator or freezer. They live 'hand to mouth' without the opportunity to plan long-term. If they fail to sell some crops at the market then they cannot buy cooking oil and other necessities for a meal. Therefore, the regular food service of the schools is also something that motivates the parents to keep their children attending school."
Star of Hope’s 3500 school children belong to the poorest and most vulnerable in Haiti. Even before the riot crisis, inflation, and the exchange rate; the runaway food prices have forced us to consider reducing the school lunches down to four a week instead of the usual five. In the wake of this crisis everything is getting worse as buying power is in free fall.
"15 years ago I saw too many malnourished children with bloated stomachs in our schools," says Dennis. “But thanks to our efforts, they became fewer for each year that went by. We simply must not let that suffering come back now!”
Now Some Good News!
The yearly Goat distribution is done and over 50 female goats have gone to children. This is an economic buffer and it happened at just the right time!
Star of Hope and Tent Mission want to come to speak in your area, can you help us save money by being a host?
Rich blessings and please give an extra gift to school lunches.