Thank you for your continued prayers for Haiti. For the most recent detailed information on our staff and our programs, please read on.
What is happening in the HOM supported schools?
The 3 primary schools and 1 secondary school remain unable to open due to on-going insecurity in Port-au-Prince. The main concern is the ability of students to safely get to and from school each day as gang violence remains prevalent. Until students can safely return to the classroom, our administrators and teachers have been preparing lessons and coursework that can be done at home. The lessons are picked up on a bi-weekly basis by parents, and teachers also provide instructions to the families so they can support their students in completing the lessons. Emergency food is also sent home with the lessons. The vocational school has been able to reopen as of November and is currently serving 168 adult students. The vocational school can operate because the students are adults & young people who mostly live near the campus and are able to come by themselves (as opposed to the younger students who need to be brought by their parents). The vocational school remains cautious by asking these students to come to school without uniforms.
What is happening at the HOM supported medical clinic?
The clinic has resumed its normal operations and is open daily from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm. The staff has been especially focused on addressing the cholera outbreak, providing education and information on treating water so it is safe to drink, as well as dealing with cases of malnutrition due to rising hunger. On 12/19, the Haitian Ministry of Health is launching a vaccination campaign against cholera, and our clinic will serve as an immunization site. The clinic staff reports they are seeing more patients with high blood pressure and diabetes issues due to the stressful environment. The clinic has also sadly seen firsthand the effects of gang violence through young rape victims who have come to the clinic for care.
What is happening to the water system on the different campuses?
Clean water is being distributed on the Terre Noire, Repatriote, and Barye Fe campuses as fuel has become more readily available, allowing us to power our water treatment systems. During the month of November, nearly 34,000 gallons of clean water were distributed to community members.
Unfortunately, we are still not able to distribute water on the Cite Soleil campus because our system was damaged by gang violence, and it is too dangerous for staff to make repairs.
What is happening to the churches on the three campuses?
The churches continue to hold worship services on Sunday, and despite the insecurity, attendance is consistently strong. Pastor Profaite who leads the Cite Soleil church, puts it this way, “Even if it is quite difficult to people to do their daily activities because of shootings most of the time and most streets are constantly filled with water and muds, people do their best to attend church services because it is the only place where they may receive hope and strength to bear their daily burdens.” In November, weekly attendance at the Cite Soleil worship services averaged 448 people.
What is transportation like and how do staff move around safely? Is fuel available?
Our staff report that taking motor bikes and “tap-taps,” versus using personal vehicles, are the main ways they are able to move around the communities. There are informal networks that staff use to alert each other as to dangerous areas or places/times to avoid certain locations. Although the blockade at the fuel terminal has been lifted, fuel is still difficult to come by as nearly all gas stations are closed. People buy fuel on the black market at inflated prices.
Is food readily available? How expensive is it to buy food?
Most food products are currently available at the markets. However, items have become more expensive due to on-going supply chain issues, and prices fluctuate considerably. In October, our staff bought 25 kg bags of rice for US$28, and in November the same item cost US$37.
Are the financial systems working? How does HOM know money sent to Haiti is getting there?
Despite everything, banking systems are working. HOM wires funds to partner MICECC monthly. We receive confirmation when the funds are received, and we also receive detailed financial reports from MICECC tracking all income and expenses.
Does HOM still need student sponsorship funds while the schools are closed?
Yes, we ask that sponsors continue this vital support. These funds allow HOM to continue to pay the teachers their monthly salaries as they prepare take-home lessons for students and also ensure classes are ready when school does reopen. Funds also are being used to distribute food to students and their families to alleviate hunger until the school lunch meal resumes.