Dear Friends of Rapha House-
Thank you for praying alongside us for the staff and children of Rapha House Haiti. I am grateful to report that things have been relatively calm in Haiti over the past few days. Public transport is operational again, banks and businesses are open, and our entire staff was able to make it into work the day before yesterday for the first time in two weeks. Some schools have reopened, though many parents are not yet sending their kids to school. People have spent the past few days stocking up on things like food, water, and fuel that have been so difficult to find.
The situation has not devolved the way we were afraid it would this week, and for that we are so thankful! My heart is greatly encouraged knowing that thousands of people have been praying for Haiti over the past week. The thing is, though, that none of the country's issues have actually been addressed or resolved- so while we are grateful for the end (for now) of the "lockdown," we know that the unrest in the country is far from over. The reality is that the issues at hand are very complex. What we are seeing erupt right now is the result of months, years, and decades of problems shaped by the interaction of complex political, economic, and international factors. There are no simple solutions here.
The government has proposed some concrete (mostly long-term) actions to address the economic crisis, but implementation remains to be seen. In the meantime, the state of the country remains very fragile, with the potential for another explosion/implosion at any given time. There have been calls for continued protests every day this week, and announcements of new protest "schedules" and the resuming of the lockdown. The truth is that none of us know how things are going to play out in the coming days and weeks. Gerson and I think that most likely this will become our new normal in Haiti for a while- the ongoing tension and unpredictability, limited (and more expensive) resources, more pervasive hunger and malnutrition, and more frequent protests in the streets.
The leadership and staff of Rapha House Haiti is working to ensure that we are well-structured and well-equipped for this season of unpredictability, and that we are as prepared as possible for another potential lockdown. We need to purchase more solar panels to decrease our reliance on fuel, and a large water filtration system for the safe house so that we won’t have to purchase filtered water during shortages. As the cost of food and other necessities for operations has escalated, we know that the cost of doing this work will be very expensive in the coming months as we continue to care for the girls in our safe house, re-integrated girls and families, as well as our staff.
We would like to ask you for continued prayers, but to also take action in a specific way. In this time of crisis, stand with us in our fight for freedom and justice for children. Consider a one time gift for Haiti operations or become a monthly safe house partner with Rapha House Haiti for $40 each month.
Thank you again for your prayers for our staff and girls and the country of Haiti as a whole.
Rapha House Haiti Client Services Director