Compassion started working in Haiti in 1968. Today, there are over 117,000 children registered in our program centres at 330 church partners.
of people live below the poverty line
of people lack access to proper sanitation
of people can’t read and write
Haiti is in turmoil. Prime Minister Henry Ceant was fired in mid-March 2019 after just six months of service. Meanwhile, violent protests, regular blackouts and skyrocketing costs of basic food items have created rising tensions in Central America’s poorest nation.
Haiti rose up against French colonial control in the early 19th century to become the first independent Caribbean state. But it has struggled with dictators, coups and corruption ever since. The current political situation is dire, with President Jovenel Moise scrambling to find another Prime Minister after Henry Ceant was fired in controversial circumstances.
The government is facing its biggest economic crisis since the 2008. Inflation is rampant and many citizens are fed up with perceived corruption and inaction. Their protests have been widespread and occasionally violent.
Added to this instability is the historical destruction caused by earthquakes, floods and cyclones that have swept the nation. Haiti’s infrastructure is unable to cope with devastating events like the Port-a-Prince earthquake in 2010—and the subsequent cholera epidemic that killed more than 7000 people—and Hurricane Mathew in 2016. Thousands have lost their lives and millions more have had their homes and livelihoods destroyed. These regular events make it very difficult for the nation to build the infrastructure it needs—hospitals, roads, schools and so on—to bring its people out of poverty.
Over half the population lives in abject poverty, with 40 per cent unemployed. Almost one-quarter of infants have low birth weight, and most people living in rural areas lack access to basic needs such as clean water and sanitation facilities. Haiti is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Many of Haiti’s trafficking cases involve children recruited to live with families in other towns in the hope of going to school, but instead become domestic servants known as ‘restaveks’. Restaveks are made to work without pay, isolated from other children in the household, and seldom sent to school. Vulnerable to abuse, former restaveks make up a large proportion of Haiti’s street children, who are forced into prostitution, begging and crime.
Dear Sponsor, My name is Guilbaud Saint-Cyr, and I have been serving as the Compassion Haiti Country Director for 14 years now. The ministry of Compassion began in Haiti in 1968. The Lord has currently blessed us with more than 108,000 registered children in partnership with about 300 local churches. We feel so grateful for the enthusiastic and generous contribution you have provided to your sponsored child!open_in_new Read full letter
Located in the Central Plateau region of Haiti, Sarazin is a poor neighbourhood with a population of about 24,000. People depend on agriculture to make a living and pay for their children’s school fees. But Sarazin struggled with one particular problem above the others—the lack of safe drinking water. And the community isn’t alone: around 42 per cent of Haitians don’t have a safe source of drinking water.open_in_new Read more