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CRISIS UPDATE: Important security update from Pwoje Espwa

Blockades of burning tires in Les Cayes. Photo credit: Valince Georges.

Donors and friends,

Our hearts are saddened by the events in Haiti over the past week. Many of you have reached out to us with concern for the children and staff at Pwoje Espwa. We would like to give you all an update on the situation in Haiti.

Security update

Over the weekend, we experienced a security breach by gang members at Pwoje Espwa. All of our children and staff are safe, and our security team has taken additional measures to ensure their protection. To supplement our efforts, UNICEF is helping to mobilize support from Brigade for the Protection of Minors (BPM), and other police units while IBESR is supporting our child development team to provide social services for the children's emotional understanding of the violence that continues to hinder their education and overall well-being.

With the escalation of protests and violence and the complete lockdown of the country, the reach of this crisis has exempted no one. This past year has been one of the most difficult in recent history for the citizens of Haiti and especially for vulnerable families with children. Between anti-corruption protests and violence, a devaluing national currency, natural disasters, a severe fuel shortage, and rising inflation, the poorest bear the heaviest burden.

Our mission is to alleviate the devastating effects of poverty on families and children in southern Haiti.

We are asking for your help in resiliently walking with us on our mission. We are one of the largest missions in southern Haiti and are empowering hundreds of children and young adults. We cannot do this without you!

Your donation will help us provide critical assistance to the vulnerable families of our children in our programs at Pwoje Espwa. Your gift will enable our team of social workers and partners to offer much-needed support so children may live in a safe and healthy home.

As always, please continue to pray for our children, staff, and their families, for the safety of all families struggling during these prolonged times of crisis.

We have faith that God will bring stability and peace to Haiti soon.

Thank you for your love and support. 

In peace,

Free the Kids


You can read more below about how this crisis is affecting families and individuals across Haiti, as well as access the most recent news articles.



Over a week of protests has completely shut down the country.

- Fuel is almost entirely inaccessible. Ongoing fuel shortages and the inability of fuel vehicles to reach their destinations have almost completely cut off families and individuals from this critical resource.

- Without fuel... families can't cook for their children. Individuals who rely on fuel to provide electricity for their businesses cannot operate. Transportation is nearly impossible.

- Families can't access markets for food, water, and other essential items. It's nearly impossible for markets to open because of burning roadblocks, lack of fuel, and gang activity.

- Schools have barely opened this school year, with street closures and gang violence keeping children and teachers at home.-

Gangs are robbing businesses and setting fire to private and government buildings.

- Hospitals can barely open their doors without fuel for electricity and street closures and violence keeping doctors and nurses at home.

Opposition efforts against the president are getting stronger as they continue to call for his resignation. Anger and frustration over corruption and the very poor standard of living in Haiti have fueled their efforts, the opposition claiming they will continue until he has resigned.


Al Jazeera, "Haiti police and protesters clash amid growing dissent"

Associated Press, "New protest hit Haiti amid demands that president resign"

Time, "Haiti Braces for Fresh Round of Protests Amid Calls for President to Resign"

Al Jazeera, "Haiti protests: Calls for President Jovenel Moise to resign"

New York Times, "Angry Protesters in Haiti Call for Resignation of President"

VOA News, "Haiti Protesters Block Roads, Loot, Set Fires to Force President to Resign"

UN News, "UN Mission in Haiti calls on protesters, authorities to refrain from violence"

Read previous crisis updates from Pwoje Espwa here.

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