Crisis Update: Tensions Remain, Active Protests in Les Cayes
Tensions remain in cities across Haiti this week, including Les Cayes where Pwoje Espwa Sud is located. Our Security Manager on campus reports that every day there is fire in the streets of Les Cayes. Gangsters are roaming the streets, stealing motorcycles from passersby and robbing local businesses, including some of our market vendors.
The disruption of daily life has required us to make adjustments in our menus to using our stock of Mannapacks – packaged fortified rice – but there are still critical supplies we use on a daily basis that need replenishing. Inaccessible roads, market robberies and closures make purchasing these items extremely difficult.
Our students have finished their exams and are out of school until their report cards are issued on June 27-28. We are happy to have closed out the school year, as the students are safer at home with their families. Our instructors are able to complete their grading and end of year work from home as well.
The most constraining area of impact for us at Pwoje Espwa is the declining value of the Haitian currency. The devaluation of the gourdes as the U.S. dollar rises in value continues to be devastating for individuals, families, and businesses. Haitians face price increases that they can’t nearly afford. Those with jobs are missing valuable income-generating hours as violence and instability has shut down many businesses and operations.
Our focus has been, and is more strongly reinforced now, to come alongside vulnerable families in Haiti to help them combat the compounding impacts of poverty. Poverty in Haiti is oppressing families, and hindering their ability to stand up against crimes before them and fight for economic opportunities.
We will continue to stand side-by-side with our Haitian partners and families for a better future. Our work cannot happen without you.
Free the Kids remains strong through times of crisis – political upheaval, economic decline, and natural disasters alike. When you join us in standing alongside communities in Haiti, we are making an impact in the lives of children and their families.
Please consider donating to our fundraiser on Facebook by visiting our page, or making a donation through our website.
We need your support to keep our promise to families that we will support them during times like these.
Miami Herald, "OAS tells Haiti opposition to back off - and tells president to start governing"
VOA, "OAS Delegation Visits Haiti Amid Demands for President's Ouster"
Haiti Libre, "Gourdes Loses 23% in 6 months, the food basket increases by 26%"
Haitian Times, "Cost of Living in Haiti is 4 Times Higher Than Minimum Wage"