Haiti shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. It is a beautiful country but has a long and difficult history. As a French colony with hundreds of thousands of slaves, Haiti was one of the wealthiest countries in the Caribbean through the sugar and forestry industries and the importation of African slaves.
In 1804 after 500,000 slaves revolted, Haiti became the first black republic to declare independence. But years of exploitation, corruption, and natural disasters have turned Haiti into one of the poorest countries in the Caribbean.
On January 12, 2010, a 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit the country. More than 230,000 people were killed. A year later, more than one million people remained displaced within the capital, Port-au-Prince, living under tents and tarps in terrible conditions that fostered a cholera outbreak. Even before the earthquake took the lives of so many, Haiti was estimated to have 380,000 orphaned children. That number today is even higher.
When the earthquake hit in Haiti ARCF was already working there. Nine of our children perished and our rental property was destroyed. On March 20, 2010, the realization of a dream broke ground for the children. It is said that every cloud has a silver lining. This is just such a case in Haiti. Despite the horrific losses that everyone has suffered because of the earthquake, there have been some positive gains as well. Finally, the buildings will at last be built to code, infrastructure will be reconsidered, and new projects will be undertaken.
In addition to our advocacy efforts, a few highlights of our accomplishments for the 2010-2011 fiscal year include:
- Providing shelter for 58 children
- Responding to care surveillance for 236 children affected by the earthquake.
- Distributing over 10,000 water purification tablets, food, blankets, tarps and clothes.
- Reconstructing the Marie Rose Outreach, to house 42 displaced children
- Create partnership with Cross International, St-Maurice Hunger Project, Give Love Foundation, Saint Anthony of Fort Lauderdale, and community volunteers.