For thousands of Haitian children, the new norm of life is being played out in crowded tent cities or even worse – the streets – with no focused activity and no hope of schools opening any time soon. Even as the beleaguered government of a devastated nation scrambles to make the April 1 goal of reopening schools – the second such goal since the earthquake on Jan. 12 – it’s becoming all too clear that making this goal, according to a New York Times article on March 6, is becoming “increasingly remote.”
Of course, these children need to get back into the classroom so they can learn the necessary skills needed to become productive citizens in their country, but it isn’t only their education that needs to be addressed. Safety is also a major concern as these children living in tent cities are vulnerable to all sorts of crime. In addition, with the rainy season which lasts from March until May and the subsequent hurricane season which runs its course from June to November, the children could be exposed to all sorts of virulent weather.
It’s clear that Haiti will need foreign assistance for some time as the reopening of public schools is just one of many issues the nation’s government is trying to address. However, even as the work to rebuild Haiti has barely begun, interest is waning. The outpouring of support was tremendous at the beginning, but like so many disasters in the past, interest drops off dramatically when the long and tedious process of rebuilding begins. more >>
A seminary student in Haiti faithfully holds Bible studies on the rubble of his home.
Despite the grim surroundings, Uriel Blanchet says, "I would not want to be anywhere else."
Blanchet is a second-year student at STEP, the evangelical theological seminary in Port-au-Prince. His house was completely destroyed in the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that killed more than 230,000 people in January and left more than a million homeless. more >>
The ninth of ten American volunteers who were jailed in Haiti on child abduction charges was freed and landed in Miami Monday night.
Charisa Coulter, 24, was released by Haitian judge Bernard Saint-Vil who ruled that there was no evidence to support charges of kidnapping and criminal association against her.
Now only Laura Silsby, the leader of the American Christian team, remains in the Port-au-Prince jail. The other eight American volunteers were released Feb. 17. more >>
A Haitian judge signed an order for release of one of two American volunteers in jail on child kidnapping charges. But an administrative problem has delayed her release.
Charisa Coulter will be allowed to return to the United States as soon as court administrators can find an official stamp to validate the judge’s order.
“I already signed the release order,” said Judge Bernard Sainvil, according to Reuters. “All that is left now is to seal it but they cannot find the official stamp.” more >>
A Haiti judge is expected to free the last two American volunteers suspected of child kidnapping.
Judge Bernard Saint-Vil said he would make his decision this week concerning Laura Silsby and Charis Coulter.
Last week, Saint-Vil released eight of the ten volunteers and held Silsby and Coulter for further questioning regarding their motive. Silsby is the leader of the team and said they had come to take Haitian orphans to an orphanage they were preparing in the Dominican Republic. more >>
Less than a quarter of the 1.3 million Haitians who need shelter have it. And with the rainy season upon the quake-stricken country, aid groups are urgently asking for help.
"It is raining almost every night, forcing thousands of Haitians to seek out shelter by standing under half-destroyed buildings in order to escape the elements," Tim Rickel, vice president of communication for World Gospel Mission, reported Tuesday.
Rickel received a report from a missionary on the ground in Haiti revealing that more than 1 million people affected by the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck the island nation last month are either sleeping in tent cities or out in the open. more >>