PORT-AU-PRINCE — Government instability, natural disasters and other factors have contributed to Haiti’s impoverished conditions. A cholera outbreak claimed 9,500 Haitian lives in 2010, and Hurricane Matthew increased the country’s devastation in 2016. However, various works are creating positive changes in Haiti.
Reforms are in place to strengthen Haiti’s stability and development, as said by the U.N. Security Council president in June 2017. Providing basic services, creating jobs and changing security sectors are some of the proposed reforms. The U.N. Security Council plans to stop Haiti’s cholera outbreak as well.
Many Haitians lack access to family planning programs. Haiti’s eminent panel, consisting of four renowned officials, intends to provide this access, which will improve children’s health and provide education and other benefits to Haitian families. The strategy could cut the mortality rate of children under age five by 70 percent.
Haïti Priorise is a Canadian government-funded research project that has worked with many entities to improve Haiti’s economic, environmental and social wellness. One of the project’s proposals involves saving the lives of nearly 4,000 newborn Haitians annually. Another proposal stresses the necessity to reduce the country’s domestic violence rate, resolve legal systems and improve government services.
Positive changes in Haiti are also being seen through the work of an audiologist, Carrie Spangler, who is spending early July 2017 to help 54 children at The Haiti Deaf Academy and Haiti Deaf Children’s home. The facilities themselves provide the children with food, support, clothing and education. Spangler’s mission is to help the children realize they are loved, valued and able to fulfill their goals.
Helping Hands 4 Haiti, launched by couple Jonathan and Michelle Carver, is a ministry dedicated to helping Haitian schools and orphanages. As noted by a pastor who visited Haiti, the orphans had families but no longer lived with them because the parents could not support them. But smiles and hugs remind those children that they are never alone.
In June 2017, Artibonite, Haiti’s rice growing region, was discovered to have enough grain to feed the whole country. President Jovenel Moïse promised in February to make rural areas more productive, and the dredging work taking place in Artibonite shows that he is keeping his word. This is especially good news for Haitians who remember past leaders with false promises.
Raising awareness of Haiti’s needs is a significant service as well, as proven by Swan Meadow School students who wrote an article on the country’s problems and aid strategies. Elwood and Anita Martin, grandparents to three of the school’s students, have plans to build a new health clinic for Haiti’s rural areas. Donors and 30 volunteers are helping the couple complete the project.
In June 2017, Canton High School students felt the desire to help Haiti after hearing of Hurricane Matthew. The students raised $1,505 to buy and pre-package 23,000 meals to send to the country. Groups that help Haiti’s orphaned children will receive the meals consisting of nutritional powder, rice, vegetables and lentils.
These efforts show that many people are working hard to improve Haiti’s living conditions. With so many aid strategies taking place, positive changes in Haiti have a good chance of continuing. If these strategies inspire other people to help, many Haitians could recover from previous disasters.
– Rhondjé Singh Tanwar