UPDATE: Schools remain closed, help needed for crisis relief
Children at Pwoje Espwa have fun and stay positive with the help of child care staff.
Protests have continued throughout the week as President Moise refuses to yield to opposition calls for his resignation.
The crisis has shut down economic activities, forced non-governmental organizations to suspend aid and activities, and has kept children from school and individuals from finding work. The United Nations said that before protests began, about 2.6 million people in Haiti were vulnerable to food shortages. Now with roadblocks and masses of protesters in the streets, food shortages have become more severe especially as food aid and humanitarian programs have been suspended.
With no clear popular alternative to President Moise’s administration, it is likely that Haiti will continue to face this crisis for months, even years, to come.
Students remain out of school
The schools at Pwoje Espwa and around the country have remained closed this week. Due to ongoing unrest in the streets and over concerns for safety, most are still unable to open their doors.
On Sunday, the Ministry of National Education in Haiti released a statement, expressing alarm and concern at the closure of schools in the midst of the current political crisis.
The statement included a call to protesters to halt activities that are keeping students from attending school. Citing its agreement to the 2030 Incheon Framework for Action (South Korea, 2015), the Ministry acknowledged Haiti’s promise to protect learning spaces under all circumstances, which includes allowing students access to education even in times of war.
With the children still out of the classroom, Child Care staff are ensuring they are safe and engaged with a variety of activities on campus.
Shifting to crisis relief efforts
With no end in sight, Pwoje Espwa is focusing on where we have the ability to support vulnerable families – by providing for basic needs.
Directors and managers at Espwa have been meeting with small groups of employees where they are
discussing the violence and how it has impacted the organization;
providing support for employees during this highly stressful period;
and helping them understand the reunification of children with their families, and how this will allow Pwoje Espwa to serve more families and children with our educational, nutrition, and family support programs.
Meetings of this nature have also been held with small groups of children to ensure transparency, support, and guidance during a traumatic and stressful time.
Your gifts are critical.
As we make a shift to crisis relief, the staff at Pwoje Espwa will continue to serve the children and families of our community. Your gifts support their efforts by
Providing food support to vulnerable families and children. – Providing basic food and resource support will keep families out of extreme turmoil, but recovery will be critical. Our family support program will help families re-establish stability in the wake of the crisis.
Mobilizing resources, like food and other basic needs, to areas needed. – Espwa remains prepared for crisis by securing resources in off-campus locations. Donations will help us transport them securely to fill emergency needs.
Allowing us to continue to top-off and conserve fuel, especially propane needed for cooking. – Although we have established reserves of fuel, they are being utilized quickly. We need help in order to maintain our reserves for cooking, transportation, communications, and power.
Providing psychological support for children affected by the recent security breach and general instability and violence. – Our team of social workers and child care staff are attentive and active in providing this support. They will also provide support to families, a service that will continue after the crisis through workshops and family counseling.
Please help us provide these services by making a donation today.
HAITI IN THE NEWS:
Time, "Protests Choke Communities in Haiti as Aid and Supplies Dwindle"
WLRN, "Moise Mess: Haiti's Political Standoff - And Humanitarian Crisis - Won't Likely End Soon"
The New Humanitarian, "Food and medical aid under threat as Haiti protests worsen"
The Washington Post, "Barricades burn as Haiti enters 4th week of deadly protests"
France24, "Haiti in crisis: Who's who and what's at stake"
France24, "Collateral damage from Haiti political crisis: ruined businesses"
Associated Press, "Amid perceived power vacuum, dozens vie to be Haiti's leader"
VICE, "At least 18 have died in Haiti's anti-government protests. This is why the country is rising up."
New Yorker, "Demonstrators in Haiti Are Fighting for an Uncertain Future"