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Delivering Hope in Haiti

In 2012, Haiti became CHF’s tenth international Mercy Network. How much do you know about this small Caribbean country?

 

A Brief History of Haiti

Haiti was once known as the “Pearl of the Antilles” and was the richest colony in the French Empire, primarily due to the export of sugar, coffee, indigo, cacao, cotton, and slaves. Centuries after Spanish settlers arrived on the island of Hispaniola, the Haitian Revolution became the world’s only successful slave revolt which eventually led to Haiti’s independence from French rule.

Unfortunately, independence does not equal stability. Haiti’s long history of political and social unrest is proof of this.

Centuries of environmental exploitation of Haiti’s natural resources had also taken their toll on the once-fertile land. Soil erosion has made Haiti particularly vulnerable to landslides and flooding from tropical hurricanes.

Poverty in Haiti

Today, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. At least 59% of Haitians live in poverty and spend over half of their monthly income on food, leaving barely anything for other necessities.

Educated professionals began leaving Haiti in the late 1900s to escape the steadily shrinking economy as well as corrupt dictatorships. This “brain drain” has left very few skilled workers to run schools, health centers, businesses, and government offices. The poor quality of education and inadequate health care perpetuates the cycle of poverty by preventing children from developing life skills that will prepare them for higher paying jobs when they are older.

2010 Earthquake

On January 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the capital city, Port-au-Prince. Over 250,000 people died during the disaster, and around 3 million people suffered from the effects of the earthquake.

Following the devastation of the earthquake, help came from organizations around the world. Billions of dollars were donated toward Haiti’s recovery, but help only lasted so long. Over 1.5 million people were displaced from their homes and were taken to temporary tent communities. Over a decade after the earthquake, many people still live in these communities.

An estimated 20,000 children were orphaned due to the 2010 earthquake. Even prior to the earthquake, there were over 400,000 orphaned children in Haiti, the highest percentage of orphans in the Western Hemisphere.

CHF Mercy Network

Through our connections in the Dominican Republic, Children’s Hunger Fund was introduced to Connect 2 Ministries in Haiti, an organization that shares CHF’s passion to care for vulnerable children and support local churches. Located just outside Port-au-Prince, Connect 2 Ministries worked extensively on relief efforts following the 2010 earthquake and continues to serve through three children’s homes, a vocational center, and other ministries to serve families in need.

It is through this partnership with Connect 2 Ministries that Children’s Hunger Fund was able to form a Mercy Network of churches trained by CHF in gospel-centered mercy ministry. We are currently partnering with twelve churches in Haiti, serving families in need in and around Port-au-Prince.

    

Since the catastrophic 2010 earthquake, four hurricanes and two more earthquakes have brought destruction upon Haiti. While international relief agencies may offer temporary aid after a natural disaster, local churches will remain. With training from Children’s Hunger Fund, these local churches are equipped for ongoing ministry to families in their communities.

We are so blessed to have such faithful church partners and supporters like you who make this ministry possible.

 

 

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