Tuesday, December 22, 2009
"The term restavèk child is defined here as an unpaid child servant living and working away from home. The most salient identifying feature is that restavèk children are treated in a manner distinctly different from children born to the household. In principle, parental placement of a restavèk child involves turns over childrearing responsibility to another household in exchange for the child’s unpaid domestic service. The traditional expectation is that the “caretaker” household will cover the cost of sending the restavèk child to school."
The majority of children come from places like Les Cayes, Jeremie, Jacmel and Leogane.
"In the five neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince, 28% of the children surveyed are restavèk or restavèk-boarders, with Cité Soleil by far the highest at 44%."
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Unless the Lord builds the house, the laborers work in vain.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thanks for your prayers--for safety, for a week full of blessings upon blessings. I was quite aware during the week that God was answering prayers in Pestel, which I think is a really encouraging thought. Steve mentioned at one point that I have been given favor in Pestel which provides me with opportunity to talk to key leaders. The favor is not of my own doing. It is God's doing. It is Him working out His will.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
This week, right on the heels of Clinton's visit, comes news that "the Haiti-based conglomerate WIN Group and the Soros Economic Development Fund today announced plans to develop a $45 million industrial park to jumpstart industry," according to an October 6 article in Business Wire.
The industrial park, which will be called the "West Indies Free Zone," will "include more than 1.2 million square feet of turn-key rentable space. It will target local and international manufacturers as well as warehousing businesses and offer tax, customs and processing advantages to tenants."
The 300,000 residents of the Haitian city of Cité Soleil, which is close to the park, will likely see as many as 25,000 jobs created for the community.
Ex-President Carter seeks to eliminate malaria in Hispaniola, its last Caribbean outpost
An estimated 30,000 Haitians and several thousand people across the border in the Dominican Republic are infected each year with the mosquito-borne illness. Hispaniola is malaria's last Caribbean outpost.
Santo Domingo. – Former United States president Jimmy Carter on Thursday launched a joint Dominican Republic-Haiti program to eradicate malaria and phylariasis on Hispaniola Island within 10 years.
The US$19.9 million program will be used on house to house search for cases, free treatment and mosquito control, repellents for mosquito nets and walls in high risk areas, as well as providing information and social mobilization on the entire island.
The [Haitian] Government hopes to lure in four million visitors a year, putting Haiti on a par with the Dominican Republic, which attracted 4.2 million last year.
"In 2011 we will be able to say that Haiti is back on the world tourism map," Mr Delatour said.--
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
You can now follow along at one of my friend's blogs here. I've also included a link to their blog on the right-most column...just scroll down to find the links.
Jon and Melissa (and their 3 kids) just returned from spending 4 years abroad as missionaries. Jon is a family physician working in a remote part of Tanzania.
They are right now staying in a missionary house in Hershey just a few minutes from my house, so we have good opportunity to get caught up with one another!!!
From a posting on HaitiAnalysis.com
"Constructed in 1918 by US Marines eager to consolidate their occupation of Haiti, the National Penitentiary was designed to hold 800 prisoners. With only minor expansions since then, the facility now crams 4,000 male inmates into an area of 2,000 square meters."
For the full write-up, you can go to HaitiAnalysis.com
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
CLINTON LAYS OUT PLANS FOR HAITI
President Clinton has apparently been busy raising money to help support Haiti, including..."$25 million from the Soros Economic Development Fund for the Haiti Invest Project, former Federal Emergency Management Agency director James Lee Witt committing $250,000 to provide disaster preparedness training for women in Haiti; and the donation of five unassembled windmills from Rolando Gonzalez Bunster, of Basic Energy Ltd., in the Dominican Republic to provide renewable energy at competitive prices in Haiti.
A trade mission with international investors, which Clinton will attend, is also being planned for October, he said.
Leveraging resources from his own Clinton Global Initiative, the former president also mentioned a study his foundation is conducting that may result in numerous energy independence projects across the Caribbean.
“There could be a lot of jobs for you, and a lot of investment,” Clinton told the conference attendees."
Swiss court says Haitian money can be given as aid
A Swiss court has backed the government's plan to give aid agencies 7 million Swiss francs ($6 million) seized from bank accounts linked to Haiti's former dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier.
Oxfam to support Haiti during hurricane season
David Vinuales, Oxfam media and communications co-ordinator for Latin America, commented that the charity is helping to restore channel drainage systems to ensure future flood water is directed away from towns and villages.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Saturday, August 8, 2009
"Relative stability has led to increased civil and political freedom, enabling national and international human rights organizations to expose corruption with impunity and to demand that the government honor the international human rights conventions to which it has agreed.
Even with these improvements, RNDDH states that "the general human rights situation remains a source of constant preoccupation," as evidenced in Haiti's senatorial elections in April 2009. They were marred by violence, and a number of the candidates were rumored to have been involved in drug trafficking and money laundering. Many Haitians had difficulty obtaining the identification cards necessary to register to vote.
In addition, the RNDDH presentation in Geneva addressed the weakness of state institutions, primarily Haiti’s prison and judicial systems. RNDDH found that 78 percent of Haitian prisoners have not been sentenced and are waiting in inhumane and degrading prison conditions. There are no rehabilitation centers in place for minors. "
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
"A restavec (or restavek; from the French reste avec, "one who stays with") refers to a social system in Haiti in which parents unable to care for their children send them to relatives or strangers living in more urban areas where they receive food and housing (and sometimes an education) in exchange for "light" housework. In reality restavecs often live in grinding poverty, enslaved to their "hosts" and seldom receiving an education. Sometimes, the child is even raped. The restavec system is considered a form of slavery." (Wikipedia.org)
Working in rural Haiti I can see why parents might think they are doing what is best for their child because they are sold a lie ("We will care for your child, provide education and food, and in return they will help us around the house"). It is also important to help the rural families so that they do not fall into this trap.
Monday, July 20, 2009
I am telling you--God is VERY good and He wants us to know it, realize it, accept it, and rely on it.
Friday, July 17, 2009
As I mentioned there are two girls whose records are undergoing evaluation at Hershey for surgery. I am sorry to say that the one child was determined to be inoperable. The other child will be evaluated next week.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
And it is exciting to see and to be a part of it.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
$1.2 billion in debt relief approved for Haiti
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
MIAMI -- The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have approved $1.2 billion in debt relief for Haiti.
The bank announced the relief Tuesday after its board met in Washington.
The relief cancels Haiti's debts to the two multilateral organizations and the Inter-American Development Bank and amounts to nearly two-thirds of the Caribbean country's total debt.
As of April, Haiti's debt was more than $1.9 billion, according to the Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research.
The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund added Haiti in 2006 to their heavily indebted poor countries debt cancellation program. The Inter-American Development Bank previously approved debt relief for Haiti, pending its completion of that program.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
This past Monday I had the wonderful opportunity
to speak to a Missions group at a local church about our work in Pestel.
Again I had to say one of the most ludicrous statements: "Even drinking dirty water is better than no water." I'll be so glad when I no longer have to talk that way about Pestel.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
"Haitians are not to blame for their current status of poverty; they were rather the victims of a system that was imposed on the whole world. They did not invent colonialism, capitalism, imperialism, unequal exchange, neo-liberalism or any of the forms of exploitation and plundering that have prevailed in this planet during the last 200 years."
He also brought up the issue of whether the land itself can ever sustain the nearly 9 million people living on it. I have wondered something along these lines: has the land been ruined beyond repair?
Along these same lines is a short article in Time.com about Clinton's "second chance" with Haiti.
The second news item: unfortunately more flooding in Haiti. So far 11 people are confirmed dead, but it always seems to me that these 'official reports' greatly underestimate the true loss of life. Last year when the 4 hurricanes swept through Haiti "about 800" people were reported to have died. But the number likely represents only those bodies that were found. If a body was not found it was not counted.
Here's the article from Reuters:
By Joseph Guyler Delva
PORT-AU-PRINCE, May 21 (Reuters) - Floods triggered by torrential rains have killed at least 11 people in Haiti, as the poor Caribbean nation struggles to recover from last year's disasters, civil protection officials said on Thursday.
Several hundred homes have been damaged or destroyed and more than 600 families have been left homeless from flooding during the past three days, according to official reports.
"The 11 victims we counted is the death toll we have registered since last night," Pierre-Louis Pinchinat, assistant director of the civil protection office, said. "But we fear the death toll may be a little higher since the rain continued to fall until today in several parts of the country."
Most of the victims were killed while crossing rivers or when their flimsy homes collapsed, officials said. Five died in the northern Artibonite area, three in the Central Plateau, two in the South and one in the Grande-Anse area.
Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, is vulnerable to floods due to massive deforestation, poor drainage in cities and because many shanty towns were built near river beds.
About 800 people were killed last year by a succession of storms and hurricanes. The scars of those storms are still visible in the hardest-hit city, Gonaives.
Many Haitians fear they could face new destruction during the hurricane season that begins on June 1. Haitian government agencies have stepped up efforts to set up shelters. (Editing by Jim Loney and Paul Simao)
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Haitian government chooses MCC partner to produce documentary
Joshua Steckley and Cathryn Clinton
May 12, 2009
MCC = Mennonite Central Committee. MCC has a very strong reputation throughout the world as an organization that works with integrity and compassion.
Here's a link to the article.
Here is the actual article:
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Support Local Production (known as KPL in Creole), an organization co-founded by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), has been selected by the Haitian government's Presidential Commission on Competition to produce a documentary and a commercial that highlight Haitian agriculture.
The government-funded documentary and commercial will be used in the government's campaign to increase sales of Haitian agricultural products locally and abroad.
Since its founding in January 2008, KPL has produced 10 commercials that encourage Haitians to consume local produce. These are broadcast daily on the publicly owned Haitian National Television.
KPL coordinator Ari Nicolas says, "When we started over a year ago, we had to pay $2,500 a month for the television station to air our commercial two times a day. After the food riots last year, they started giving us free airtime. Now, the government is paying us."
In addition to governmental changes, the national broadcaster recently quit broadcasting commercials for imported rice. Haitian farmers have lost jobs because cheaper, subsidized rice from the United States has flooded the Haitian market.
In response to international encouragement to help alleviate poverty, the Haitian government began market liberalization in 1986. While lowered tariffs brought cheaper imported food to Haiti, they had a devastating effect on agricultural production, particularly in rice, sugar and poultry sectors.
Christian Aid, an international development charity, estimates that around 831,900 Haitians have been affected by the loss of agricultural income.
According to a study in 2008 by the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development, a nonpartisan organization, Haiti now relies on imports for more than half of its food supply.
Nicolas does not blame all Haitian troubles on the market liberalization policies. He says that 300 years of slavery and colonialism taught Haitians they were inferior, and this belief affects them today. "We wear Western clothes, create Western music and eat imported food because we still think who we are and what we can make is no good," he says.
Through commercials, school visits and conferences, KPL reminds Haitians of the importance of valuing their humanity. "As KPL, we are simply trying to make Haitians remember who we are, and what we can produce. Once we can change this mentality, everything else will follow," Nicolas says.
The KPL commercials can be viewed online at mcc.org/haiti.
Joshua Steckley is an MCC worker from Waterloo, Ontario. Cathryn Clinton is a writer for MCC.
Friday, May 8, 2009
The trade school is being funded by a group called IDEJEN (Out-of-School Youth Livelihood Initiative). There are a number of these trade schools throughout Haiti and I'm very glad to see one has started in Pestel! The tuition/expenses are paid-for by IDEJEN.
The schools are designed for older youth (late teens to early 20s) and the school provides 2 years of education: the first focuses primarily on reading/writing and the second focuses mainly on one of two trades: masonry or animal husbandry. The trades were chosen based on the needs of the area.
The program is funded by USAID and you can read more about it here.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
THE LITTLEST VICTIMS
(Ti Viktim Tou Piti Yo)
My breath catches as a little baby looks up at us from the floor. He seems all head and no body, staring passively at his visitors. Renald is 2 ½, but looks half that age. He doesn't talk or walk. He doesn't even have the strength to stand. His tiny little body is joined to a listless, laughless spirit which is also a sign of the malnutrition he suffers. But he doesn't recoil from a strange "blan" who picks him up stroking his arms and legs, caressing his face and head, and patting his back for a good hour.
When a kind-hearted health agent brought Renald and his twin, Raymond, to our attention, their little legs were swollen tight, a sign of their deteriorating condition. Unfortunately, our help didn't arrive in time to save Raymond. He died shortly after treatment started.
We stand on the porch talking of how to involve neighborhood mothers in helping a rather clueless young father raise his infant son. All the malnourished children we are currently treating are motherless, most mothers having died in childbirth. It is said that for every mother who dies a child also dies. This has often been my experience, though families struggle mightily to prevent it.
Four month old Souvni died recently despite all our efforts. My arms still know the feel of her featherweight body. But Madoche, a 2 year old orphan, and Renald still live. Madoche who is now standing, is a joy to watch as he shovels in the food we provide.
Why do the innocent suffer? Why do these conditions exist?
It seems to me that it is always the poor who bear the world's burden of greed for power and riches, most often in a high mortality rate. In Haiti, democracy is just a dream opposed by powerful forces here and abroad who have selfish uses for the poor.
Despite all, the Haitian poor struggle valiantly on, their way of the cross strewn with victims young and old, but mostly young.
For a passionate account of recent events in Haiti, including our own country's collusion in its suffering, read AN UNBROKEN AGONY: Haiti, From Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President by Randall Robinson or Dr. Paul Farmer's classic, THE USES OF HAITI.
Sister Fidelis Rubbo
April 27, 2009