HaitiChildren appeal to Senate Foreign Relations
The following is a letter that was sent by our HaitiChildren CEO and President to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in response to the hearing that was held on Wednesday, July 15th regarding an Overview of U.S. Policy Towards Haiti Prior To The Elections. You can view the hearing here.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Sub-Committee on Western Hemisphere
423 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-6225
July 17, 2015
Dear Chairman Rubio and Subcommittee Members:
We are executive officers of an American non-governmental organization specializing in the care, education and defense of poor children in Haiti. Over the past 21 years, we have invested more than $35 million in quality facilities, staff and programs in Haiti. Our schools have 1300+ students and our food-and-water programs benefit more than 5000+ every day. We also provide community programs including complimentary medical assistance, seminars, Public Service Announcements (to encourage and assist families in keeping their children), and other support for local villagers.
Earlier this year, we met in Washington with the national security advisors of Senator Perdue and Senator Gardner, and we talked via teleconference with your staffers Jamie Fly and Viviana Bova. The subject was our concern for the wellbeing and fate of Haitian children if the current cycle of elections there are not “fair and free.” Any problematic candidate certification, campaigning, registration, balloting, counting, reporting and/or transition to a new administration will result in widespread unrest, disruption and damage. A consequence is that our humanitarian work will become more difficult, dangerous and expensive, if not impossible, for an indeterminate period of time.
That is why earlier this week we watched with intense interest the webcast of your hearing on the status of American-Haitian relations, including the upcoming election cycle.
We understand from the webcast that the United States has committed and intends to expend $50 million for undisclosed activities relating to the elections. Anything short of transparency about American involvement in the Haitian election season is exceedingly important. We hope that you and your subcommittee members will insist upon full disclosure of the allocation of that money, who will receive and use the money, for what purposes and with what expected results, and that all the information will be included in the record of your hearing.
We are concerned that there will not be adequate security forces in place at the polls and at polling centers where ballots are tabulated. Our sources indicate that nearly 50,000 trained security forces will need to be in place on Election Day. Special Coordinator for Haiti Thomas Adams testified 5,000 security forces will be in place on Election Day. At minimum, there should be sufficient armed security at each and every polling station effectively to remove the likelihood of untoward voter influence and intimidation, discouragement or outright blocking of access. Hence we ask that security, assurances and related protocols be addressed as part of your hearing record.
We were heartened to hear Senator Boxer’s line of questioning regarding the restavek practice that is so pervasive in Haitian culture. If Senator Boxer was concerned by this, we hope that she and the rest of your committee will see fit to hold a subsequent hearing on that topic, with a suitable number of authoritative witnesses. Senator Rubio, we are grateful for the opportunity to share this submission with your committee. We are grateful for your interest in Haiti. Needless to say, we and others will not be satisfied with anything less than a Triple-A rating on American foreign policy and aid effectiveness in Haiti. We count on you to help raise the current low rating. Please count on us to assist you where desired.
CEO | Haiti Children/HaitiChildren
President | Haiti Children/HaitiChildren
Teen’s Speech at HC Fund Raiser
Allison Judy’s Speech at Tapping Into Haiti’s Future
Pray for Stevie’s Healing
Thank you, brothers and sisters, for your prayers.
Again I ask you all to keep asking our Father to heal Stevie, our 5 year-old boy at our orphanage in Haiti. Stevie has recently lost his sight after an infection related to Hydrocephalic Syndrome and complications after several surgical interventions. We are praying for supernatural wisdom for all the doctors in Haiti working to save his life. I know beyond any doubt that God wants to hear our prayers about this child and what we desire for him. Please pray for Stevie’s life.
Also I would like prayer for Joe and I, the HaitiChildren staff in Haiti, all of our children, and the widows as well.
Jesus Christ died for them and wants us to think and pray for them as His little children. Let’s claim God’s promises that he will not abandon them (Psalms 37:32-34).
We believe in our Lord Jesus. We do not doubt. We will never give up. We expect victory!
Steve & Freddy Need Prayer
Two orphans at HaitiChildren Village are not well. Thanks for your support and prayers as our staff attends to their needs.
Steve Joseph continues to have leaking from the site of his hydrocephalus surgery last month. He has an infection in his brain and is receiving antibiotics. Our staff physician, Dr Agenor has found a neurosurgeon who can provide a consultation and hopefully treatment. We are hoping the surgeon can help the surgery site begin to heal and that Steve can have a shunt inserted in May. Steve’s condition is extremely critical and we are very concerned!
We have just learned that Freddy Hebron has a malformation which inhibits his breathing and he will need oxygen full time — perhaps for the rest of his life. Dr. Agenor is pursuing further testing to determine a treatment plan. We are also working to get portable oxygen for Freddy to have at HaitiChildren Village. We are very concerned because he is so frail, but he is a fighter!
Please share this with your friends and if you are connected to a prayer chain, please add Steve and Freddy!
Newest family member @ HaitiChildren
Freddy Hebron is a two and a half month old little boy who was abandoned at the Government Hospital in Port au Prince at birth. Freddy has a birth defect which caused his lower limbs to form incorrectly. He came to join us at the orphanage in Williamson on March 14! On that day, Freddy had his first peaceful night’s sleep. He is safe with his HaitiChildren family and he has a very good chance of having an operation to fix his little legs.
Medishare provides surgery for HaitiChildren boy
Many thanks to Medishare who provided hydrocephalus surgery for Steeve Joseph. He is a precious little boy who is six years old. Steve is a very active and intelligent boy who has been with HaitiChildren for four years and we are excited about his future! Read more about Medishare here »
Haiti’s President, First Lady, Give Gift of Food
HaitiChildren is honored that the First Lady of Haiti, Sophia Martelly, donated food to the orphanage at HaitiChildren Village. This gift was part of a larger effort on the part of the President and First Lady to assist the most vulnerable members of Haitian society. “The State has an obligation to supervise the children and provide to their physical well-being, mental andmaterial,” Mrs. Martelly declared.
The President and First Lady have consistently demonstrated their commitment to children, regardless of their background, and took this opportunity to convey a Merry Christmas to the orphans at HaitiChildren Village. Included in the gift were rice, canned fish, baby formula, and dry milk.
HaitiChildren is delighted to partner with President and Mrs. Martelly to improve the lives of orphaned and abandoned children. We continually look for ways to work together to helps these precious kids!
Lee Pardee Update
Thanks to ALL of you who offered financial support and prayers for Lee Pardee during his recent surgery. The surgeons successfully removed a large tumor that was near his carotid artery. I visited with Lee for a long time yesterday. He is in a nice hospital and is being very well cared for. We are also very thankful this hospital has agreed to provide free post-operative care for him. Lee has a very large incision from the tumor removal site, but there are no signs of infection.
When I walked in the room, he lifted himself up and started making happy sounds in spite of his autism and recent surgery! I am SO proud of the way he has responded and his cheery attitude. He is eating on his own. When I handed him a teddy bear, he hugged it closely! We hope he will be back to HaitiChildren Village in ten days. I learned that this little trooper had TWO heart attacks during the surgery and battled through it all!! The six doctors who performed the surgery ALL consider him to be a little miracle and a testament to your support and prayers!
Again, thank you for making a difference for Lee.
Reflections on Haiti: Challeges Met with Love
By Jeff Leck, Member of HaitiChildrenâ€™s Board of Directors
I visited Haiti in July, 2012 and was reminded of the difficult conditions HaitiChildren faces every day. The oppressive heat, constant dust, overwhelming traffic, severe poverty, and incredibly crowded real estate in and around Port-au-Prince do not make for an appealing working environment. I have traveled to many places in the world and in terms of day-to-day logistics, Haiti is easily the most difficult. I think the government of Haiti, considering the tragedies and setbacks, is doing all it can do to stabilize the country and protect children. Yet, the task is enormous. Reflecting on the trip, I wanted to share with you some observations about the difficulty of caring for kids in Haiti:
Electricity. The power grid in Haiti is unreliable for sustained power needs such as refrigeration or night lighting. The constant power outages throughout Haiti mean HaitiChildren’s staff must care for children mostly without relying on electricity. While we do have generators, diesel fuel costs dictate limiting use of generator power to only the most essential needs.
Transportation. The roads in Haiti are worse than any I have observed (even in places such as Africa). The capital’s “roads” are essentially potholes joined with occasional pavement. Rocks and debris are constant. Traffic jams are ubiquitous. HaitiChildren’s staff cannot simply drive quickly across town to secure supplies or attend meetings. Every journey, however short, is an adventure with a very bumpy and convoluted ride. domain expiring Further, virtually all the vehicles experience extreme wear and tear.
Sanitation. There is dust everywhere. Sewage management is rudimentary at best, open and flowing at worst. Garbage piles are part of the landscape. While the average Haitian no doubt has a stout constitution, it is very difficult to keep our children from exposure to disease and infections. I am proud of HaitiChildren’s efforts to provide clean water to students and orphans. At HaitiChildren Village, the kids take two showers each day and the facilities are spotless. I now have a better understanding of the priority we must place on sanitation for all of the children in our care.
Reflecting on my overall visit, and especially the time I spent at the HaitiChildren Village, I continue to be amazed that HaitiChildren can help so many children with so few dollars. The promise HaitiChildren makes to orphans—to provide food, a home, 24/7 care, medicine, vaccinations,education, therapy, recreation and love—is monumental. It is no cliché to say—this is a labor of love.
In May we received a very welcome donation of shoes from Newton Running Company and Tumiani Ministries. Over 2000 pairs of shoes are now being worn by children and poverty stricken families in Haiti! The shoes have been distributed to the very grateful and needy children in HaitiChildren’s orphanage, the students at two HaitiChildren elementary schools (HaitiChildren Learning Academy and C.I.T.E. School) and all of our Haitian staff members received a pair of shoes. These shoes were a very needed and welcome gift. Many thanks to Newton Running and Tumiani Ministries!