The entire world is adjusting and responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. At the Haiti Micah Project, we too are adjusting and finding how to keep supporting the most needy in Haiti’s central plateau.
It has already been a difficult year for Haiti. Ongoing political unrest, protest and violence has led to calls for President Juvenal Moise to step down. Parliament was dissolved in January of this year and international actors including the US, France, U.N and the Organization of American States (OAS) are trying to facilitate talks between opposition parties and the government. Weakened police and security forces are no longer able to protect citizens and ensure normal services.
In the midst of this, coronavirus has arrived in Haiti. As of this writing, there are 15 confirmed cases in Haiti and a few of them are hospitalized in Mirebalais, where Haiti Micah has our orphanage, feeding program and vocational school. For more information about how Haiti is dealing with Covid-19, click here.
In Mirebalais, only the orphanage is able to operate normally. In order to respect the rules of social distancing, the feeding program and vocational school are closed until further notice. The pandemic is likely to become much worse in Haiti before it gets better, so we are thinking long-term to support the 23 children in the orphanage. Food reserves from the feeding program have been redirected to the orphanage so we can ensure we have sufficient food until at least May. Prices of basic goods continue to soar.
At the orphanage, we are keeping the children inside—not an easy task with our rambunctious group! We keep several buckets of water throughout the orphanage where the children can wash their hands on a regular basis. Only staff are allowed in the building and there will be no visitors until further notice.
An update on our recent graduates:
Three of our Haiti Micah graduates (Jacky, Joseph and Robentz) remain in the Dominican Republic where they continue to work on their certificate programs. We are in regular contact with them to ensure they are taking precautions and have the resources they need to stay safe and healthy.
To donate in support of our recent graduates, visit our Joshua E. Tielking Memorial Scholarship page.
We are in daily contact with our staff in Mirebalais, training them remotely and giving them tips on how to handle this pandemic. It is critical at this time to have access to trustworthy information and a balanced source of news.
What can we in the United States do to help, while we are juggling our own crisis?
The staff and children in Mirebalais need your prayers and contributions to know that, indeed, we are all in this together, and together we will get through it. Visit our website and keep your contributions going so we can care for the children and the staff, especially to keep buying food and the products they need (like soap, water and electricity) to function on a daily basis.
As we pray for all around the world facing this crisis, please keep the Haiti Micah administrators and staff in Haiti in your prayers as they navigate this new crisis. Blessings, health and safety to all.
The Rev. Joseph M. Constant