As I mentioned a few months back, in a few days I will be going to Haiti on a Mission Trip (January 19-26). Our church sponsors a school in the small town of Leogane and we send 7-9 Missionaries every year to bring school supplies, clothing, and over-the-counter medicine to the children and their families. In addition we will be visiting an orphanage, hospitals, and hospices. The orphanage, hospital, and hospice rarely get any visitors beyond a nurse and much of what we will be doing there will just be interacting with the sick or dying -- typically people who just doesn’t get a whole lot of human contact, in essence they’ve been abandoned.
Part of why we go is to learn about the country and bring back to our comfortable homes the story of Haiti’s plight. With that in mind, here are some basic facts about Haiti:
-- 75 to 80 percent of the country’s 8.5 million population live on less than $2.00 a day
-- Half the population has no access to safe drinking water
-- Life expectancy is 49-51 years.
-- 23 percent of children suffer from malnutrition
-- 10 percent of the population has electricity
-- 97 percent of the country’s forests have been cut down.
Our efforts in Haiti are funded through my church: Annunciation Catholic Church, a non-profit that was established through this effort, Mission Haiti, Inc, and through our own private expenses. If you want to support our mission, check out the Mission Haiti web site or contact me personally.
If you want find out more about Haiti, the show 60 Minutes just this past week had a segment. You can view that here. Also check out the book Mountains Beyond Mountains, and the chapter on Haiti and the Dominican Republic in the book Collapse.
Obviously I won’t be blogging in Haiti but intend to have a few posts and pictures about my trip when I return. Just think, we’ll then have a new President and hopefully a few more degrees on the thermometer. (btw, this (Thursday) morning it is nearly 110 degrees difference in temps between Minneapolis and Port-Au-Prince!!!)