Oct. 30/19: Update from our Orphange

Political Context: Haiti is experiencing a wave of violence for more than seven weeks. Schools have been officially opened on September 9th but closed one week later and till now nobody knows when they will be reopened. Because, their opening is conditioned to resignation of the Haitian President, Mr. Jovenel Moise. Roads all over the country are inaccessible, giant barricades block the ways and secured by men in arm preventing vehicles to cross. In certain areas pedestrians or vehicles are allowed to cross after paying a fee.

The unrest is the result of a long political battle engaged between the Haitian Government and the political opposition. The President and his political party have been accused of corruption, nepotism and incredible. According to two reports published by Superior Court of Administrative Accounts and Litigation the regime is involved in the embezzlement of the Petro Caribe Funds (Oil money owed to Venezuela by Haiti).  The opposition requires his resignation and rejects his invitation to dialogue. Mr. Moise refuses to resign, while the opposition in his part launches mobilization to block the country in order to force leaving the power.

Both parties are fighting for their position and the country is paying the price. The economy is about to collapse, the companies do not work, some hotels close their doors or reduce their staff. The misery increases, there is a lack of food in several places, and finally acts of robbery and looting increase.

The ODO activities continue not without difficulty, our maids could not go to the markets at Pont Sondé or Verrettes to purchase food, because the roads were not accessible. The City of Saint-Marc is in the center of the violence. Giant barricades are erected by armed men whom no one can cross. In Deschapelles schools operate timidly, rumors of threats often arrive provoking panic of the parents who invaded the school yard to pick up their children, but they still resist. However, schools are closed in Verrettes, Saint-Marc and in several other cities in the country. Despite the instability our schools are opened and the children of ODO continue to attend their classes.

Shortage of fuel in Haiti: The fuel is available in several gas stations in Port-au-Prince, but not in the provinces. The public and private transportations inside and outside of Port-au-Prince are considerably reduced. We buy and stock fuel (diesel) at home to transport to Deschapelles when the roads are opened. Saturday, October 27, 2019 I went to Deschapelles and spent only five (5) hours the time to unload the fuel and other items that I brought for the ODO and the schools, because the National Road No. 1 would be closed by 6:00 PM.

Gerald

Oct. 17/19: Update from our Orphanage

Everyone is in good shape at the Orphanage. However, for two weeks it's impossible to go to Deschapelles, the roads are blocked with barricades as the unrest continues. The schools in Deschapelles were closed last week because of threats. This week we open the Deschapelles school asking the students not wear uniform to not draw attention.

I am sending the ODO September Financial Report, you will notice the increase of expenses for certain items. Our water pump was broken down, the inverter was broken down during the month, we had to repair them. The cost of fuel was increased due to the sever shortage and the unrest. We had to buy from black market to run the generator. Talking about generator, we rented a 5 kw at $150/month to keep running the water pump and recharge the inverter some times. As you know it the gasoline generator of the ODO cannot run the water.

Gerald

Sept. 24/19: Update from our supervisor of the Orphanage

Everyone is doing well at the ODO. The shortage of fuel continues in the country but is less severe than the past three weeks. I have managed to put a small diesel generator available to run the water pump. I bought fuel at the highest price carrying it from Port-au-Prince to Deschapelles to supply the generator for the recharging the inverter, since it’s raining almost every day. 

The insecurity increases in the area. More than three times at night robbers attempted to steal the water pump and penetrated the Orphanage. Sunday night they made another attempt, the new hired watchman alerted people, the robbers ran away. So, it is necessary to reinforce the security for the safety of all the children, maids living in the Orphanage and the school compound. 

Yesterday, was high tension day in Haiti after the failure of the ratification session of the new Prime Minister. Many protesters claiming to be of the opposition, launching slogans hostile to the Government, blocked roads all over the Port-au-Prince and other cities in the country. Even at Deschapelles and Verrettes people were affected. Parents invaded the school yard coming to pick up their children due to false rumors that protesters would come to attack the schools in the Commune. Today school activities resume without any problems.

It was very difficult for me to arrive home yesterday after leaving my office: roads blocked, barricades of burning tires, traffic paralyzed and protesters broke windshields of vehicles. Thanks God I got through safely.  Today, I work from home avoiding the streets, businesses and banks are closed, protesting the insecurity and the damages suffered during the unrest.

Gerald