Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Haiti Mission Program Update - July 2013

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I recently received this update from Dave Smith of the Haiti Mission Program, Inc.

Past, Present and Future (?)

Haiti is somewhat of an enigma.  There are over four million people existing in a two-class society with poverty the prominent feature.  

For those on the bottom of the economic ladder, a dollar a day would be the normal income. Unemployment is rampant, approaching 80% for those most in need of an income.  The lack of jobs is in direct correlation with the economic opportunities.  No available industrial opportunities leaves the country as if a barren desert existed.

Simple existence is a day-to-day struggle.  Fortunately Haiti is in the tropical zone where the food growing season is lengthy and is their salvation.  Small garden plots and farms not only provide for their daily rations but a source of income through barter or sale.  Pigs and chickens provide the meat needed but this staple is not for every day.  Vegetables are the most common dish at mealtime.  Yet, many, many families do not have the means to raise their food and must depend on charity of their neighnors or a non-governmental organizations (NGO) for assistance.  

An infrastructure that provides governmental assistance does not exist.  Churches, religious organizations and charity are the backbone that provides some relief to the poor but there is never enough.

The lack of food and nutrients leads to a multitude of sickness and disorders.  It is very common to see the signs of malnutrition in the children with the red tint in their hair and the destended abdomens.  At the other end of the spectrum are the elderly and handicapped.  Many of these are homeless or shuffled off to the side for the lack of resources to help them.  

Medical resources are limited.  The fact that there is little money for healthcare, the ill often depend on home remedies or unqualified medical personnel to tend to their illness.  Unfortunately, this pattern does little to cure the illness and often leads to more serious problems.  

Bleak as this information may be, there are some bright spots that help individuals escape, mainly through educational opportunities.  Sadly, these opportunities are insufficient to meet to the vast numbers who need assistance.The past and present blur into one extended event in time where nothing changes except to get worse.  Tradition governs how they conduct their lives.  The future will most likely follow the pattern which is so prevalent today in the lives of the Haitians.  Simply put, nothing is being done to cause a transition into a better life.  Promises of financial aid, usually after a major catastrophy, fail to materialize.  Greed and corruption funnel large portions of the aid that is received except for those funds provided by NGO organizations who deal directly with communities.  

The Haiti Mission Program, Inc. continues to support the poorest of the poor through their work in Haiti.  If you feel called to assist this
organization, please visit their website at

You can also purchase one of my Pearls of Hope for Haiti bracelets in my Catju Designs Etsy Shop for $25, with $20 from every purchase donated to the Haiti Mission Program.