Donate Now

Unrest continues into second week

Latest Crisis Update from Haiti and Pwoje Espwa: Unrest continues into second week

As a follow up to our previous eNews update on the unfolding civil unrest in Haiti, we have updated information on the political crisis in Haiti and our children and staff at Pwoje Espwa.

Here is what we can tell you since our last email:

Across Haiti…

  • Civil unrest continues across Haiti and the situation continues to escalate, threatening the country with a humanitarian crisis.
  • The U.S. Embassy has escalated its travel warning to a Level 4: Do Not Travel, the highest travel advisory, and has evacuated all non-essential personnel and their families.
  • The movement is being called “Operation Lock Down Haiti,” its objective being to shut down all aspects of Haitian life until President Moise resigns, which he claims he refuses to do in an address to the nation after a week of silence.
  • Markets and businesses remain closed, schools shut down, medical facilities are operating with little access to already-scarce resources, and many continue to shelter in place.
  • Inflation and devaluing currency coupled with the economic shutdown continue to drive prices to skyrocket.

At Pwoje Espwa…

  • Our children and staff are still safe.
  • Campus remain shut down, security is working 24/7 to ensure the safety of our children and staff, and we are still actively conserving resources as markets have been shut down and key resources are inaccessible due to road blockages.
  • Our guest house managers have been safely evacuated and returned to U.S. soil on Friday.
  • Rain engulfed Les Cayes on Friday. Although streets were flooded and activities with the children were difficult to facilitate, it hindered some of the violence and we were able to replenish some key resources, like propane and charcoal to extend our ability to cook meals.
  • Our social workers are staying on campus at Espwa in order to plan activities for the children and keep them occupied to reduce their anxieties. This is a sacrifice on their behalf as they are separated from their families.

As a humanitarian crisis looms, we are growing more and more concerned for the recovery efforts when the conditions begin to stabilize.

Most communities and families will likely emerge from this crisis worse off than before.

  • After over a week of sheltering in place, not only are most food and supply reserves going to be depleted, but also any small amount of savings.
  • Resources will remain scarce as transportation networks are cut off, especially in any areas radiating from Port-au-Prince, where all imports arrive and are dispersed.
  • Prices of goods and resources will likely continue to rise.

Despite any possibility of emerging calm and peace, it will be very difficult for people to pick themselves back up again.

At Pwoje Espwa, we are not excluded from these challenges. While we budget for emergencies, recovery will be very costly. We will provide support for our children and their families, our staff, and our community members to the best of our abilities.

We are one of a few organizations in the area with the capability of delivering relief and support in southern Haiti.

We desperately need your help in order to do this.

Please consider making a donation to support our efforts.

or text “ESPWA” to 44321

Stay updated on the crisis by following our Facebook page and blog.

We are committed to our mission, and we are committed to keeping you updated with the most accurate information possible.

________________________

In the News:

Miami Herald, Haiti News

PBS, “Violent protests in Haiti may mean a humanitarian crisis”

Al Jazeera, “Haiti’s political crisis disrupts economy and day-to-day life”

NPR, “‘Do Not Travel to Haiti,’ U.S. Tells Citizens, Citing Violent Unrest”

US News, “Haiti to Unveil Economic Measures to Quell Violent Protests”

New York Times, “U.S. and Canada Warn Against Travel to Haiti as Violent Protests Continue”

VOA News, “Haitian president to people, ‘I Hear You’

Al Jazeera, “Haiti’s president addresses nation amid violent protests”

I fell in love with Espwa during my first visit last year. Hard to put into words, but there was a real "heart" connection with the kids and staff. It is a special place. My visit was focused primarily on the girls and the teachers. Relationships were initiated during that first visit that I treasure very much!

- Maria Simeone

There is hardly a more heartbreaking sight than seeing an orphan in Haiti--many of them who have families who simply cannot feed and clothe them. Of course there is the emotional response to their plight, but there is a more pragmatic hope--that given a chance in a loving, caring environment, these children can grow up to be leaders, people who can move their communities and the country itself in a positive, healthy direction.

- Jackie Wilson

This place is amazing! The kids and their caregivers will restore your faith in the human spirit. The magic of Espwa is that there is a childhood provided for the kids there that would not exist otherwise.Haiti has a very very long way to go, but this is a hopeful place with clean, well fed, happy children, teachers, house moms, and support staff. Fr Marc and all of the others should be very proud of their accomplishments. Help them in any way that you can!

- Kerri McDonough Croland
Back to top