HAITI HUMANITARIAN CRISES 2019
How is this seen by our staff? What do we report? Do we condense it or report on all we know? Is the public interested or not? What is going on anyway...
So much has been going on in Haiti we want to update you on all the many aspects. Kay Metsger, the foundation of our Board of Directors, has written the introduction; following that is a word from our man in Haiti, Tony Boursiquot. However, if you need the condensed version of why Haiti should be in the news again it is like this: anger over corruption, inflation, and scarcity of basic goods including food and fuel has led to large protests that began five weeks ago and have ruined many businesses, schools and so much more. The kids are greatly affected. We could use your help please click here to change a life.
Dear all, especially subscribers and supporters of Star of Hope projects around the world. No present crisis has demanded our urgent prayers for safety and security more than the one in Haiti, as explained in the following letter from our contact there, Tony. We ask your urgent prayerful intervention for peace to prevail, restoration of the infrastructure, and stability in economics; so that our schools, pastors, and teachers can resume delivering needed education, food, and most importantly HOPE to our children and families who reside in this chaotic situation.
Thank you for your support, encouragement, and prayers for an immediate solution and turnaround. Remember, we cannot do this work without you.
Kay E. Metsger R.N., BSN
Star of Hope USA Board Member, Treasurer,
Tony’s reports below, note project names and locations are Dano, Bois Negresse, Hesse, Rigaud, Marigot, Jeanton, and Boyer.
9 14 2019
Gas shortage in Haiti getting worse. Difficult to find gas in gas stations. Every day is a fight to get a gallon of gas.
9 14 2019
9 16 2019
Most schools in Haiti are closed throughout the first week of the new school year for reasons of severe gas shortage and for reasons of political and economic turmoil. Today, the first day of the second week, all schools in the cities are still closed for the same reasons but also because of a strike day called and launched by the groups who protest against bad political, economic and social actions of the government which lead the country toward chaos. As we could not visit the schools yet because of lack of gas, blocked roads, and strikes, we keep in touch with school leaders by phone who report to us how much the problems affect the schools function since the official opening day.
Last week Star of hope schools operated with less than 50% of the expected numbers of students but today they are running with more than 50%, despite this being a strike week. We are obliged to cancel our school visits this week to distribute 3000 school bags, school materials, 72 new benches, 72 preschool chairs, and tables, etc...
So, we have adopted a calendar of visits without precise dates which is no other than an open calendar to transport all the school materials and to start the visits as soon as roads open and we can find gas to fill vehicles.
It is only back to school programs that have been delayed to be implemented. Programs distributing school books, school uniforms, and food have been delivered on time in every school one week before the problems started. We sent out enough food to feed the children for the first school period (September to December). We bought and delivered a total of 12,750 kg of rice, 2,875 kg of cornmeal, 3,500 kg dried bean, 1,125 kg of flour, 375 gallons of vegetable oil, 720 kg salted smoked herring, 720kg can fish for a total of $23,000 US. The next food delivery is expected in January 2020 for the second school period (January to March). The third will be in April for the 3rd school period (April to June).
Except for the late arrival of book bags, supplies, and furniture that will be delivered as soon as the strike is lifted and the traffic is possible, all school programs will function as it should.
Today, because of strikes and road blockage, all schools are closed in the cities and a low percentage function in the countryside. However, at Star of Hope schools, the attendance is as follows: Bois Negresse: 300/456, Boyer: 402/619, Dano: 380/546, Hesse: 280/315, Jeanton: 400/552, Marigot: 118/214, Rigaud: 340/691. These numbers give a percentage of 57% of the students present today in the 7 Star of Hope schools.
To have an idea of SOH back to school programs, attached are pix of last year about food and school material distribution. Meanwhile, you will get new ones soon. We will keep you informed next week of the evolution of the crisis and the functioning of our 7 Schools.
May God bless you all! Tony
9 24 2019
After weeks of crises in Haiti, the situation is far from being improved to find peace and serenity. The long line of vehicles at the gas stations extends more and more day after day to find gas. Violent street demonstrations are organized every day to ask the resignation of the president and his government for mismanagement and corruption of public funds. Some major roads are barricaded every day with tires burning up while other roads are cut off to block traffic in all directions.
For 3 weeks, almost all economic and social activities are paralyzed. According to the protestors, life will be back to normal only when the president will give his resignation.
Today banks, schools, private and public institutions keep doors closed to avoid acts of vandalism and looting that occur each time there is a violent street demonstration.
Even Star of hope schools located far from cities are affected by these crises.
Three weeks since the opening of the new school year, schools are functioning at 80% of their attendance. The staff of Star of Hope and local partners cannot meet to plan and execute the educational programs of the new school year. Every time we prepare a calendar of visits we are obliged to cancel it for a new calendar that is not held because of insecurity.
While waiting for everything to return to normal in the country, I would like to share with you the closing ceremony of the summer camp that Star of Hope had organized and supports for the children of Jeanton. Sunday, September 1, 2019, Star of Hope and the leaders of the church and the school Pentecostal of Jeanton concluded the summer camp organized for the benefit of 104 schoolchildren.
Beneficiaries are schoolchildren from preschool to elementary school in the community of Jeanton.
This camp ran from August 5 to September 1, 2019, and aimed to promote excellence based on the academic and Christian education of our young people.
During the summer camp, the children took part in activities that were at once intellectual, social, educational, cultural, sporting, and Biblical.
During the closing ceremonies, certificates were awarded to students in the presence of their parents. The products and works realized as liquid soap, bracelet, sweeper, and floral art were displayed in the room to be distributed to the children at the end of the ceremony. The children recited all the Bible verses and poems they learned during the camp's short duration.
In 28 days of camp, the children had a fun time learning many things
This camp was set up by Star of Hope with the help of Pastor Reginald and the leaders of the Pentecostal Church of Jeanton, under the supervision of the school, as part of its AWANA program. Two kindergarten teachers helped to make this course as informative as possible and 4 church members including the Sunday School Director. In only 28 days at the camp, the children learned a lot. Special thanks to Star of Hope USA and Park View Church for their financial support to the realization of AWANA summer camp in Jeanton. Attached are pictures of the Jeanton camp closing ceremony held on September 1st, 2019.
9 27 2019
The street demonstrations continue in Haiti with the goal to overthrow the president and his government for corruption, shortage of gas and mismanagement of public affairs. Demonstrations have spread throughout the country, especially in the big cities. Today is the 15fh day of nonstop strikes and street demonstrations. Today is the worst day of trouble, looting, and violence by several thousand protestors.
9 30 2019
We are at the end of September and until this day the serious political, economic, and social crisis that has been blocking down the country since the beginning of September, is far from being solved. Every day, several thousands of protestors are in the streets to demand the resignation of the president. Every day there are scenes of looting, violence, and brutal confrontations between police and demonstrators. All major highways are blocked by barricades that are set on fire or with big containers to block street activities. People are threatened to stay home or to participate in street demonstrations. For each day of protest, it has been reported at least two protestors get killed by police, several wounded, and many get arrested.
The majority of people indeed wish for the resignation of the president, but for them, the blocking demonstration lasts too long. For more than 15 days there is no commercial exchange between cities and provinces. This blockage has already caused a serious food crisis without precedent. In addition to this, for reasons of insecurity and persecution, schools and major commercial activities remained closed.
Since the beginning of the crisis, the 7 Star of Hope schools functioned well, but today 4 of them are forced to close under threat of the groups which protest against the government and for gas problem.
The schools of Dano, Bois Negresse and Hesse continue to operate, but schools like Rigaud, Marigot, Jeanton, and Boyer are closed today until all threats cease.
Please see attached photos that Dano sent to me this morning and some recent photos of the troubles in the streets.
10 7 2019
The blocking crisis has not changed, the crisis of blockage and the frequent violent street protests continue and block the country for more than 4 weeks. Traffic on the main roads connecting Capital with other provincial towns are still blocked by anti-government groups demanding the immediate resignation of the president and his government. Major economic and social activities are paralyzed. Since the beginning of the crisis, large companies and schools have been closed due to insecurity. In each protest there is always violent confrontation between police and protesters: police shoot tear gas, rubber, and real bullets at the crowd who throw rocks, bottles, and Molotov cocktails.
However, no one knows when the crisis will come to an end, because protesters say they will continue to protest until the president decides whether to resign or go to jail.
Last Friday was the day of the largest demonstrations already organized in the streets of the capital and in the other cities of the provinces. More than a million people protested in front of the UN building that day to ask the international community to not support the president and force him instead to dismiss his presidential function. Another big protest is organizing for today to close all governmental and public offices.
This long crisis has a very negative impact on the life of Haitians in general, so true that it can be considered a humanitarian catastrophe; 2 million children cannot go to school, gasoline, food, water, and other commodities are scarce in every corner of the country. People are barred from going to work, from walking around the streets, from trading, from planning, or doing anything. Despite everything, the majority of Haitians want to block daily activities as long as the president sticks to power and refuses to resign.
In the minds of the protesters against the regime, this crisis is a revolution that is being accomplished to change the current awful system that has lasted more than one century.
It is not safe yet to drive a long way, so meanwhile, Star of Hope staff spend more time in the office to work in updating children data bases of 3000 children, to plan mass-mailing for Christmas, and mostly fill administrative tasks instead of visiting the projects to do the usual follow-ups. All educational supports in the budget are paid out monthly on time for school personnel payroll, school canteen, books and supplies, school bags, classroom equipment, chicken project. This month It wasn’t safe for us to visit school projects but school leaders took the risk to come into the office on a taxi to receive October school support.
All programs work well in the 7 schools supported by Star of Hope from the first day of the opening of the new school to now. However, from last week to today only 3 out of 7 Star of Hope schools are in session. Dano, Bois Negresse and Hesse schools are the only schools that feel safe to continue working in full capacity and attendance. The other schools like Boyer, Rigaud, Marigot, and Jeanton are obliged to close until the security environment will be back to normal. Here are some pictures of schools that are open that I received from school leaders.
The children are not in good spirits! (sorry for poor quality pix)
10 11 2019
Everyday everywhere thousands of protestors are on the streets to ask the resignation of the president. 4 weeks of protests that paralyzes the active life of the population. The scarcity of food, water, and healthcare makes life dangerous. This long crisis affects everyone and becomes a big humanitarian catastrophe.
One of the largest street demonstrations against the president and his government is also the most peaceful protest. No confrontation today between police and protesters. This coming week, the blockage situation will be worse. Schools and business and traffic will stay closed until president give his resignation says the population.
It is like no one stays home. They go out to protest against the president and political system based on corruption, exploitation, property and social injustice. The population wants to change the system for real but to start the process they want the president ahead of the system to resign first as a first step. For them, protest is a move through a second independence revolution. The population protests even at night to take down all elected staff from the executive and legislative office.
A new march was called by the art community.
Other parts of town, more marches, so many people, we pray it does not turn violent.
And the largest we have seen...
Last report above.
Star of Hopes schools are in session but attendance is down as the political and economic situation unfolds. Haitian President Jovenel Moise said on Tuesday 10 15 2019 he is making moves to end the country’s corrupt political and economic system, acknowledging one of the opposition’s demands yet failing to convince protesters who again took to the streets.
Later that day, the president held a surprise press conference and said he would not resign as he once again urged unity and dialogue. Opposition leaders, however, said protesters would remain on the streets until he steps down.
Today on 10 17 2019 the president was attempting to perform at a public ceremony but was warned not to go into public.
In closing, anger over corruption, inflation, and scarcity of basic goods including fuel has led to large protests that began five weeks ago and have shuttered many businesses and schools yet as mentioned Star of Hopes schools are in session.
The kids are affected. We could use your help please click and help us get them back to being kids!
We want them to look like this!
Blessings to you and yours.
Star of Hope USA 866 653 0321