Donate for Christmas for our students
Nov 2022, URGENT NEED TO RAISE FUNDS - At least an additional $600 will be needed for Christmas so each one of the 200 children in the Saturday meal program can receive a small Christmas gift; more than likely the only gift these children will receive. Please donate today to help the children of Haiti have a better Christmas.
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Second Saturday School Opens in 2022
"I am Wensley Petion I am 26 years old and live in the neighborhood called Villambetta near Port Au Prince. The program will help the children in my neighborhood to have a place to blossom, learn, live in society and neighbor love. Educational games and other activities like singing together. A meal will be shared. Sometimes this program will help the children with some school supplies, notebooks, backpacks, etc. Some of them are very poor and they will need more assistance like food, sandals, dress, help with school tuition".
Aid in Action continues to feed up to 100 children every Saturday at the Saturday School run by Oriol Petion. Just recently, his son Wensley, 26, expressed the desire to start another Saturday school program in his neighborhood a couple of months ago. He is a wonderful responsible young man that I have watched grow up.
Thanks to a recent large donation, we are able to help him get started with this program that will also feed up to 100 children every Saturday!
To make the school possible, this required the purchase of a generator for the power needed for cooking for that number of children, microphone, etc. quite honestly just having a generator will change Wensley and his mother's life. He will be cleaning up the area around his home to make the space for the program, requiring tools, and building materials i.e. wood and sheet metal.
What an opportunity for us to impact up to 100 more children.
We will need to raise $550 more a month to support this program.
Crisis in Haiti Continues
September 4, 2021
written by Jean Dube
We continue to be shocked as the crisis in Haiti continues. In the wake of the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise on July 7, 2021 the public is still anxiously waiting for answers and calling on officials to get to the bottom of this incident and find out who is responsible.
The southwest of the country was hit by 7.2 magnitude earthquake just before 8:30am on August 14, 2021 injuring over 12,000 with a death toll of over 2,000. Then again on August 16, 2021 Haiti received a direct hit from Tropical depression Grace overnight, leaving those who had lost there homes or remained outside due to the aftershocks in the storm. We at AIA NGO express our deepest condolences and sympathy to all Haitian families that have lost loved ones to the disasters and ongoing violence in Haiti.
Lack of security and gang violence continue and have left roadblocks on major roads making it impossible for life saving materials to reach hospitals in other parts of the country, shutting down access to markets for many and also blocking the country’s main Petrol reservoir leading to massive fuel shortages. This harsh climate has made it hard to go to work, or get anything done and school will be opening soon. Crops have failed as a result of rising temperatures and climate disruption, so there’s a growing food crisis ahead for Haiti. The ongoing problems have over shadowed the COVID numbers which are rising, with only a small percentage of the population vaccinated. Haiti just received its biggest shipment of vaccines after the assassination.
September marks the beginning of the school year in most places and there’s excitement about the new school year for children and there parents. Sadly thats not the case here, its more of a feeling of anxiety, despair, and fear. By now its clear to all Haitians that there not safe anywhere here, when they leave their homes there’s no telling what they might run into while out in the streets, so there’s no guarantee they will make it back home safely. Since 2019 Political unrest or country lock as they call it and the pandemic have kept 70% of haiti’s children out of school throughout the school year. The state announced that school would open September 21 in Port-au-prince and October for the southwest.
My heart always takes a leap when we are driving into Simon Pelle Citi Soleil as I anticipate seeing her beautiful expressive smile. Friendship is that cherished connection between two people, a natural connection that pushes beyond geographical, cultural, and economic boundaries. Lillian is my friend. I am blessed.
We first met 10 years ago in the tent city near Simon Pele, just one of the many tent cities created post earthquake on January 12, 2010. With so many structures demolished or deemed unsafe to occupy, those left without homes created shelter with whatever materials they could find. Largely made up of tents donated from non-profits, this one appeared visually less ragged, but a tent city non the less.
Aid in Action supports traditional midwives in Haiti, called Matrons, by providing classes and basic equipment such as training in sanitary precautions, and providing clean birth kits. The responsibility of bringing life into the world exists in every human culture and the connection we feel as midwives transcends culture and language. Lillian was in my very first class, which was only the beginning of our deep friendship.
I share her story with her permission. This is not an easy story for me to write. It will not be easy for you to read.
Lillian has lived her entire life in Simone Pelle, an area outside of Port Au Prince and abuts the notorious slum of Citi Soleil (google it). She worked from childhood as a meat retailer, learning the trade from her mother.
Lillian had a life changing experience on September 14, 1980. At the age of 26, she delivered twins at Saint Catherine’s Hospital. After the healthy babies, a boy and a girl, were born, they were placed one on each side of her. She was then told that they were taking the babies to be bathed. When the nurse returned, she only had the baby girl. After contacting the authorities about her baby’s disappearance, an investigation was conducted. While foul play was suspected at the hospital, she never saw her baby boy again. Bribery and child trafficking are an ongoing reality and could explain the baby’s disappearance.
The hospital approached her with a proposition. She was given the opportunity to join one of the hospital’s job training programs. She had a choice of embroidery, midwifery, or folklore. She chose midwifery. Lillian was young and had no other options. The job opportunity was hardly a replacement for her loss but provided a future for herself and her daughter.
Her daughter was cared for in the hospital’s nursery while Lillian worked there in hands-on training. She was trained by the hospital doctors and helped them through deliveries and learned quickly. She remained working at Saint Catherine’s until 1994, when the hospital went under new management and she was let go. Midwifery had become her profession and she continued delivering babies as a Matron in homes in Simon Pele and Citi soleil.
A delivery in a Haitian home is much different than in the hospital. The people she serves are extremely poor and have few possessions in their homes. The women deliver onto a dirt floor on a sheet which she frequently needs to provide. A matron equipped with a clean birth kit arrives at the birth with life saving provisions. These kits include a bar of soap, gloves, umbilical cord clamp, a single use razor blade, an absorbing pad for delivery and a receiving blanket for the baby.
When asked how she feels about being a midwife Lillian states, “I love being a midwife and I pray that God will give me the strength to continue delivering babies for many more years”. Lillian, like most matrons who deliver more than 60% of the babies born in Haiti, seldom receives payment. They serve very impoverished communities throughout Haiti. Their work is essential but most of those they serve are unable to pay.
Lillian’s story is inconceivably unjust, but she has used her loss to serve and love so very many within her community. I dearly love this woman.
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