We appreciate your continued support and also the patience some of you are exercising as you wait to receive information about your sponsored children. Isson arrived in Haiti on the very first commercial flight into Port au Prince on Friday morning. The first item on his agenda was to meet with our coordinators. They have been able to account for most of our children, but not all of them. Isson is taking careful notes and taking photos and video. He has been to several of the children’s homes and is concerned for and truly loves each child in our program. He will continue to make sure he accounts for each child. Here in Utah we are just receiving bits and pieces of the information and are trying to be patient ourselves.
We’ll tell you what we know.
Would you like the good or bad news first? The answer is always the “bad”, right?
Regrettably we have discovered that several more of our children are newly orphaned. The Primo children (Samie, Samuel, and Esterline) have lost their parents and their home. They are currently staying with a woman who is a complete stranger to them. Isson will meet with them and this woman tomorrow to assess the situation so we will know how to help. Tanette and Esther Pierre-Louis have also lost their parents. They are currently living with relatives. Ruth Christelle and Colby St. Germain have lost their father. Daniella and Floredelie Beauge have lost their mother. Some of our children are ill. Jacky Jean has malaria. Francesca Figarro has a broken leg and severely injured feet but she was able to be evacuated to the Dominican Republic very early on and is still there in the hospital receiving medical care. Isson actually spoke with her on the phone and said that she is in good spirits.
Besides the news about the struggles these specific children are facing, Isson said he was very concerned about the children’s emotional state. When I asked him to elaborate he said that he believes the majority of them are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress and that if they do not receive some kind of emotional help, this could cause all kinds of future problems. Isson hopes that in the next few months we can find trained counselors interested in coming with us to Haiti to conduct group therapy sessions and whatever else is possible to help meet the emotional needs of our children. If any of you are in this field or are aware of those who might be able to help (ESPECIALLY IF THEY CAN SPEAK HAITIAN CREOLE), please forward this message on to them.
Now, on to the good news. After a very difficult first few days, Isson was in very high spirits today as he and Harry were putting together some kits full of items to distribute to our families. He said that most of the children are okay. We are sorry that we don’t have a list of all of their names right now. But we will say that “no news is good news” if you are concerned about your sponsored child. We promise to get you more specific information within the next week.
With your help we were able to purchase the following items to begin distributing to our families: rice, black beans, water, corn flour, flour, spaghetti, hygiene kits, feminine supplies, some medications, and other items. Isson and Harry began distributing these items today. Although they will not last long, it seemed to bring hope to everybody to receive this help and also to know that we care about them.
We are also still collecting supplies and are partnering with another organization to take a container to Haiti which will leave Utah on March 8th. If you are interested in donating items, we need to receive them by March 5th. Please contact us about a shipping address and to let us know what you can supply. We have gathered many important items but have also been asked for the following:
Beef Bullion cubes
Clothing Detergent (separated into gallon bags)
Feminine hygiene supplies
We can definitely still use more tents and water filtration/purification supplies.
We are also trying to raise additional funds to cover the costs of shipping the container.
Thank you all so much for your continued support!
The Haitian Roots Team