Free the Kids and Pwoje Espwa remain deeply committed to the safety and well-being of children and families in Haiti, especially amidst the recent instability in the country. Your support for our mission makes a significant impact on our ability to carry out this commitment now more than ever.
Protests and violence have escalated across Haiti as the week has passed. Protesters continue to call for President Jovenel Moise’s resignation following a report implicating him in the corruption scandal revolving around a loan-for-oil program with Venezuela.
Over the last year we have provided updates throughout the rising of protests. The implications are generally the same -
Burning tires and cars and destruction in the streets have kept schools, businesses and government offices closed, halted public transport, and kept markets mostly inaccessible.
In effect, the country shuts down.
It is easy to get lost in the reiteration and reprise of this message – but the effects have been crippling for the country of Haiti and a tireless challenge for us at Pwoje Espwa.
Transportation within major cities and across the country halts during major protests, keeping businesses closed and cutting off economic activity. Transportation routes for food and supplies from Port-au-Prince to rural areas is also stifled, cutting off large populations from much-needed resources.
Schools have been closed down for varying lengths of time, jeopardizing students’ ability to complete their academic year.
Prices of goods have soared with rising inflation since February. The devaluation of the Haitian currency, the gourdes, has crippled families’ ability to purchase food and critical resources and services. Around this time last year, the gourdes was around 60 to the US dollar. Currently, that number has reached 95 gourdes to the US dollar.
The staggering rise in the cost of living has created even more desperate conditions for families, especially those who already had very little access to resources.
The current instability in Port-au-Prince has made it difficult for our partners to continue their services, which includes our access to food shipments that arrive through Port-au-Prince.
Although US news media fails to report on the full reality and extent to which anti-corruption protests have impacted the population, the people of Haiti face extreme insecurities and instabilities accompanying the violence in the streets. At Pwoje Espwa, we have been facing these challenges since last February, with no apparent resolution in sight.
Despite the strain of instability over the last year, we continue to strive to maintain stability for the children during times of crisis. Our staff and partners work tirelessly to find solutions in the face of a challenge, and the security of the children is relentlessly upheld as a priority.
We are in desperate need of your support, as maintaining this stability over the last year has been a constant strain on our budget.
Please consider making a donation today. YOUR contributions make a significant impact on meeting these needs and now we need help more than ever.
We also ask that you keep Haiti in your prayers as citizens continue their fight for peace, justice, and endurance through each day.