As many of you have heard, the chaos of everyday life in Haiti escalated recently when thousands took to the streets to protest growing inflation and the alleged misuse of funds by the Haitian government. From February 7 through 15, streets were barricaded, homes and businesses were vandalized and looted, and some protests even turned violent. As a result, Haiti was on lockdown for over a week. Schools, public transportation, and businesses were all closed, including our partner, the Lespwa Timoun Clinic, which was unable to see patients for over a week. In a country where most people struggle on a daily basis to meet basic needs, being unable to leave their homes meant many suffered from food and water shortages.
Our partners in Haiti described the protests as stressful, but clinic staff and families remained safe. Carmel Valdema, clinic founder and coordinator, shared a reflection during this time: “Can you imagine staying for 9 days at home? Nine? I was thinking about the kids Lespwa Timoun had in the hospital, children who are in the Nutrition Program who needed to replenish their supply of Plumpy’Nut or akamil (ak1000). In many places, people don’t have water, food, gas, or charcoal to cook. It is so hard.”
Currently, protests are paused while the Haitian government begins to address citizen concerns and reform issues. Lespwa Timoun reopened on Monday, February 18, and staff remains focused on providing quality care. Light from Light remains dedicated to Lespwa Timoun and the people of Haiti, and we ask you to join us in keeping them in your prayers.
In Haiti, we know there are no quick fixes, but we are blessed and encouraged by the resilience, hope and faith of our Haitian friends. Light from Light continues to focus on empowering proven local leaders, like Carmel Valdema, to build and sustain long-lasting change. By joining with them, we are feeding the flame of hope and healing in Haitian communities. It is our prayer that this flame will shine brighter than the chaos surrounding it in the days ahead.
Light from Light