Haiti knows brokenness.
There are few jobs. There is not enough food as it is, but the anticipated population explosion within the next 20 years will worsen this problem. It is often considered the world’s poorest country with about three-quarters of its population living on less than $2 USD per day.
Deforestation has eliminated 98% of Haiti’s forests, magnifying the effects of natural disasters like hurricanes. It also contributes to soil degradation which reduces the ability to farm for food.
The government is dysfunctional, too. There is no rule of law – a key condition that allows slavery and exploitation to thrive. And it does: from prostitution to forced field work to unpaid domestic labor.
When you’re living in day-to-day survival mode, a certain worldview is formed. Out of this context, children’s rights are ignored. Children become things to be used and abused.
This is a grave reality, especially given that the vast majority of population is under age 25. According to Restavek Freedom there are an estimated 300,000 child slaves in Haiti, many of whom are given or sold to other families to work as unpaid domestic servants.
This is heavy and hard. But we are not without hope.
The Set Free Movement, International Child Care Ministries, and Restavek Freedom are partnering in order to provide relief to the oppressed while simultaneously changing the values driving this issue. That starts with awareness and education. We will be announcing more details about our strategy in the months ahead.
This work will be one of three featured projects for Freedom Sunday on September 24, 2017.
You might feel far-removed from these issues in Haiti – but you can still have a place in finding solutions. Consider supporting the work of International Child Care Ministries by sponsoring a child in Haiti, either as a family or as a church.
Our friends at TO THE MARKET partnered with artisans in Haiti to produce these beautiful, handcrafted pieces of jewlery. To support livelihood opportunities for survivors in Haiti, please click on the products below!