Monday, March 9, 2009

Larry's trip to Haiti

Two weeks ago, our Executive Director and founder, Larry Bergeron, made a trip to Haiti. While there Larry helped deliver and serve the Kids Against Hunger food packets. Following are excerpts from his trip.....

Well team, I just got back early this AM from Haiti. We were at the NWHCM for a day (where we were last Sept before the Haiti Pack-A-Thon) and elsewhere around Port au Prince. As with NWHCM, the poverty is staggering all over the island and the sheer magnitude of the debility can be overwhelming.

At a tent meeting over the weekend, the people walked for miles (many down from the mountains) to come and even sleep on the floors. They sat on wooden benches and many ate the Kids Against Hunger packets along with special treats that were prepared (they butchered a cow while I was there and boiled it).

A small aqueduct ran by the mission which was fed from the mountain rains. In one part of the small stream (2 feet wide), children were using it as a bathroom

On Sunday night, a woman showed us her 1 month old son named Job. She asked us to take him as she could not care for him any longer. She could not nurse him and there was not enough food for her other children. She felt it best to let him go so he might survive. Lifeline asked if she would want to keep him if she could feed him. As a result, she will get KAH packets on a regular basis now. More food is needed than we can possibly imagine.


I have about 20 or so hand sewn bags (pocketbook sized) crafted by some of the women at the mission in Haiti. They are trying to learn a trade (sewing) and get about ½ of the proceeds back to them. The other ½ is used for the supplies, operating expenses for the mission, etc. The also use the proceeds to pay for the foot pedal sewing machine (non-electric) that the women eventually are given.

A Child's Hope International has paid for the bags so that the mission has the money now. The plans are to sell these at the "Factory" on Saturday to those interested. The women have been oppressed, abused and are struggling to feed their children and to stay alive. I see these bags as a way to help them overcome the injustice.

They are priced from $20 - $30.


Friends, many insights last week at NWHCM and several other outposts on the island.

* One child had a badly swollen belly (hunger). Note her hair color (reddish blonde) – the protein is leaving her hair from severe malnutrition. The internal parasites are awful.
* The other girl was worse than the first – yet note the smile on her face.
* At the care point kitchen, the 3rd girl (pink crocs) was getting her Kids Against Hunger meal for the day on her dish –a frisbee
* The mission compound was on a hillside in the mountains.

Sadly, the death among children is not abating at all. There are no gardens to speak of, 85% unemployment, no infrastructure, and more orphans than before. The presence of the UN forces has stabilized the crime rate. They were very obvious all around the capital city.

Cité Soleil (Sun City in English) is a very densely populated shanty town located in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Most of its estimated 200,000 to 300,000 residents live in extreme poverty. The area is generally regarded as one of poorest, roughest, and most dangerous areas of the Western Hemisphere's poorest country; it is one of the biggest slums in the Northern Hemisphere. There is little police presence, no sewers, no stores, and little to no electricity. Bullet holes are as common as flies. Not wise to travel in the area without UN troops.

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