Years ago, when it was a French colony, Haiti became one of the wealthiest countries in the Caribbean. However, this was gained through the heavy importation of African slaves and with considerable environmental degradation. In the late 18th century, Haiti's slaves rebelled, and it became the first Black republic to declare its independence in 1804.
Since that time, Haiti has been plagued by political violence. Now it is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, with 80% of its population living in abject poverty.
Haiti has a population of over 8 million. The infant mortality rate is 76 out of 1000. The median age in Haiti is 17.9 years. The literacy rate is 52%.
Eighty percent of Haiti's population is Roman Catholic, 16% is Protestant, with the remaining 4% a mixture of other religions. However, these statistics are a bit misleading, as roughly half of the population practices voodoo, regardless of religious affiliation.
Children of Promise in Haiti
It is in this environment that Children of Promise brings hope to children in Haiti. We presently have two projects there. The first is at the House of Blessing. Sponsored children are housed, clothed, fed, provided an education, and given Christian guidance through the loving house parents and staff.
The second project is an individual sponsorship program in the surrounding neighborhood. This is a rural farming community located about 5,000 feet above Port-au-Prince. Most of the people are hard-working and grow vegetables and flowers during the rainy season. However, 37 million tons of topsoil wash away in Haiti every year. Now the rainfall is diminishing, and it is becoming harder and harder to earn enough money for even the basics.
Potable water is located 250 feet down a sloping mountainside in a ravine. To make matters even more difficult, Haiti has undergone a governmental change, causing prices to soar. The people are living in hardship, particularly the children.
Through loving sponsorship, these children are able to receive food, clothing, education, medicine, and spiritual nurture. This Children of Promise project also provides a goat or rabbit for the children, empowering them to be actively involved in helping themselves.
Standing on the orphanage grounds.
Catching up on a bit of school work.
Children from the surrounding neighborhood.