I am writing to you on behalf of our students in Haiti. Less than a month ago, we - KCH board members and 75 students - were celebrating the arrival of 22 new students. We witnessed their smiling faces; grateful for their education and hopeful for a better future. Sadly, things have changed dramatically since that day.
Today is day 8 of the humanitarian crisis that's facing Haiti. Port-au-Prince and other parts of the country are on a lock down. Road blocks, massive demonstrations and violent riots make the city inaccessible. Although in certain areas life goes on as normal, our students and staff - who live in the city - are suffering. Schools and businesses are closed, many roads are blocked with burning tires, and they have no access to food. The students are worried and hungry. One student just sent me a message; he is desperate. He is hungry and, as the oldest of three siblings in KCH, he is worried about his younger sisters.
The protestors are angry and tired of their situation. They want the president to resign, claiming corruption. Others claim that the protestors are gang members, paid by the opposition to destroy the country. Regardless of politics, the people who are the poorest, are suffering the most. They feel ignored and neglected. There is an extremely high unemployment rate, limited access to education and healthcare and a big divide between the wealthy and the poor.
The situation has not reached most of the international media. I am asking you to acknowledge this beautiful country and to send your thoughts and prayers. How can we justify or even accept for such a crisis to happen, only two hours away from Florida?
Let there be peace in Haiti.
Astrid de Vries - Founder/president KCH
PS: As soon as schools and roads are open again, KCH will be back in full speed to assist our students in building stronger futures through education. If you'd like to donate to help our orphaned students, please click on the 'Help Haiti' button below. Thank you!