More strikes threaten Haiti’s security, recovery efforts

By September 27, 2012

Haiti (MNN) — Among other issues on the table before the United Nations is: what to do about Haiti and the peacekeeping mission there.

The UN Security Council will be looking at a long-term exit strategy at a time when Haiti clearly needs help with security. Deadly anti-government riots last week could jeopardize needed stability for economic growth in the future.

Efforts to reform the justice system were stillborn as two of the nine new council members have already quit. Justice and security remain foundational to further recovery and development efforts, which in turn dictate the pace of further justice and security.

However, all that is in question since last week. What began as a protest over a 30% hike in food prices quickly turned into a two -day national strike. Demonstrations on September 12, 21, and 22 deteriorated into bottle-throwing, tire-burning mob action.

Kids Alive Haiti director Robenson Gedeus says it's not over yet. "They will do it this weekend; and they say that if we don't have any results from the strike, they will keep doing it next week, and school will be closed. It will not be possible to open the school next week."

School just re-opened Monday after last weekend's riots, and if more manifestations continue, schools will be closed again. Gedeus notes that "when we have this situation in Haiti, in Cap Haitien, we close our school. It's really bad for our community children because when they come to our school, they have meals–two or three meals a day. So, when we close our school for one or two days, it's really bad for them."

Kids Alive also has a children's home where the kids live with house parents in a family setting. "Our residential children have a safe home; so even if they don't go to school for two days, they have meals for the day." However, because it's unsafe to travel during the riots, teachers can't get to schools, and the community children stay home without safety or food.

In addition, Gedeus says rising food prices are wreaking havoc on every part of their work. "It affects our budget as well because we plan for the year how much we will spend for food. When [prices rise quickly], it affects our budget."

The ministry's first children's home opened eight years ago in Cap Haitien, rescuing children who would otherwise have no future. The quake of 2010 added to the 300,000+ orphans already struggling to stay alive in Haiti .

Over the last two years, the number of children in the Kids Alive School and homes has quadrupled. The ministry provides an education, nutritious meals, medical care, and the love of Christ to these orphaned, abandoned, extremely poor, and hurting children.

Construction of the Haiti Children's Village to serve these children has just begun. It's a large endeavor. With the help of supporters, these young lives will be transformed from victims to Godly men and women who will be the future of Haiti.

With a story like this, it's really an issue of whether to pray, give, or go.

Gedeus asks believers to pray that the prices go down and that people stay safe. "Please pray for Haiti, in general, for Cap Haitien, for the Kids Alive ministry, and especially for our community children so that we can continue to serve the children in our care."

If you're more interested in giving or going, check our Featured Links Section. We've got a link that will give you more information about the work and needs of Kids Alive in Haiti.

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