Haiti (MNN) — Teachers in Haiti have refused to return to classrooms, even taking to the streets to protest a lack of pay and safe working conditions. This was already a problem in the country, explains Eva DeHart of For Haiti with Love, but the pandemic made it worse.
She says, “Haiti runs in cycles. Their government gets money. Sometimes it doles it out and sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t, that means the police can work for months without a paycheck. The teachers can work for the entire school year without a paycheck.”
DeHart says Haitians have learned to expect this kind of sporadic payment, saving money away until whenever the government can provide payment again.
“How they make it in the meantime, I have no idea.”
The situation is so desperate, DeHart says, that theft has become an expected part of the culture. “I mean, you dare not leave anything out or on attended. It will be deemed available to whoever passes by. They’re going to take what they need to survive from people who may have a little more.”
The burn clinic
In this desperate situation, DeHart says, the burn clinic keeps taking in patients. “[Haitians] are some of the most loving, abused people on the planet. And they are just so openly appreciative of absolutely anything that you can do for them that they make it extremely rewarding to keep trying.”
For Haiti with Love has been sharing the Gospel with Haitians who bring in their children for burn treatment. “People are very open to listening to you when they realize that your reason for being there and for helping their babies is the love of Christ. ‘Who is this Christ who provides all of this help? Tell me about him.’”
How to get involved
Even a little bit of help for the people of Haiti creates a lot of hope, DeHart says. She mentions the Pilgrim House 29 project, which provides homes for homeless people in Haiti. But these houses don’t just benefit homeless families. The entire community is energized and excited by this provision. You can learn more about the program here.
You can also support the burn clinic, which is always needed, DeHart says. It was the only such clinic not to close during the pandemic. Visit For Haiti with Love’s website to learn more.
Pray the needs of Haiti’s people would be provided for, and pray Haiti would see the healing and hope of the risen Christ.
The header photo shows Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (Photo by Robin Canfield on Unsplash)