Needs abound in Haiti, says Kids Alive

By March 17, 2009

Haiti (MNN) — Haiti has been rocked with political instability and a desperate economy. Unemployment is unthinkably high, food shortages abound, and the number of abandoned and orphaned children continues to rise.

Haiti field director for Kids Alive International Tom Froese says things are changing in Haiti. "Things have changed for the worse. There are a few things that change for the better temporarily, and they take a couple of steps backward. But basically things are pretty rough in the community."

He says, "We have seen fuel costs rise as high as $5 a gallon. Food costs have risen. Rice prices, for a bag of rice has tripled. That's put big expense on our ministry to try and meet those costs with the budget that we have."

Lawlessness has also increased during these difficult times.

Because of the tough economic times, Froese says their work is needed. "Kids Alive Haiti has a residential program where we have 21 children in residence in individual Christian homes, and we also have a school program where we are educating these children."

But they're only meeting a small fraction of the need. Froese tells us about the desperation. "The situation is such that many parents will pay government officials to make forged or false death certificates for them, so they can bring the children to us."

While many are hopeless, Froese says the church is providing hope. "I believe the Christian church is the only hope for this country. It's so morally bankrupt that there is a need for strong Christian influence."

According to Froese, you can help the work of Kids Alive in Haiti. "We are in need of personnel here. One of our dreams is that we could have American or Canadian trained teaches that would come down and invest possibly two years, helping us to train teachers so that our teachers would be equipped to teach classes in a good way."

He says there are other ways for you to help. "There are opportunities for teams to come down and help us with building, for medical teams to come down and do medical examinations on the children here, also dental teams, and that kind of thing."

Froese says Kids Alive currently is operating from rented property and would like to build their own facility. They have land, but it's tied up in the court system. "Because of the lawlessness in the country, we have had a group come against us to try to take our land away from us. We won in the court case, but they bribed some officials and produced some phony documents, and now the ruling went in their favor in the appeal."

Now they're looking to purchase another piece of property and build another home there.

If you can help financially, or would like to help with teacher training, building or medical assistance, just click here.

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