The Road to Hope Haiti Blog

Welcome to The Road to Hope Haiti Blog. I will post about happenings in Haiti, either nationally or more specifically within the communities in which The Road to Hope is based, Mirebalais and Cap Haitian. I will gather information from reliable Haitian-run news sources and local contacts such as our The Road to Hope partners, Eudras Ceus and Pastor Lucner. The purpose of this blog is to keep our “Road Crew” informed about important issues taking place in Haiti. Haiti is an often-misunderstood nation that rarely makes headlines for more than a few days immediately following a disaster. Additionally, coverage often features sensationalist, false, or incomplete facts. We are hoping that the Road to Hope blog can be a source of reliable, Haitian-sourced information about happenings in the country we are so committed to empowering. Finally, this is keeping with Road to Hope’s mission to educate and inspire American advocates for Haiti.


Now, to get to this month’s content. As many of you may have read in the news headlines, the Haitian president, Jovenal Moise was assassinated in his home. This event was met with protests and unrest in the country, as well as a rise in gang-related activity. Now, Haiti’s prime minister, Claude Henry, is serving as acting president. Elections are scheduled for November 7, and there are a small number of US troops in Haiti currently to oversee this process. This description is by all means a highlights reel. There are many complex factors involved in the political situation of Haiti that we can and will dive into in upcoming blog posts. Why was the president killed? Why is the government the way it is? Is it a good thing that US troops are there? What is the general sentiment amongst the Haitian sentiment about politics? What can we expect from the upcoming elections? These are all questions that have complicated and different answers depending on who you might ask, but we will attempt to answer them within the context of Haitian history and the strong conviction that the Haitian people are incredibly resilient, strong, and caring of one another.

These traits were demonstrated in their response to the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that devastated southwestern Haiti this August 14. Minutes, hours, even days after the quake, the individuals searching for neighbors, loved ones, and strangers weren’t relief workers or NGOs but Haitians themselves. The quake killed over 2,200 individuals, injured and displaced tens of thousands more, and decimated all nearby infrastructure. While this earthquake had a lower death count than the 2010 one because it didn’t affect the capital city of Port-au-Prince, it was calamitous in different ways. Southwestern Haiti, where the earthquake’s epicenter was, is incredibly rural so it was difficult for relief efforts or resources to reach many small, now decimated, villages. Furthermore, these relief efforts were woefully small to begin with. This was due to two major factors: many NGOs refuse to work or continue to work in Haiti because of the unstable political situation. Additionally, there exists a “donor fatigue” when it comes to Americans and other citizens of high-income countries giving their financial resources and emotional energy to Haiti. We will discuss both of these phenomena that were exemplified in the earthquake response, the complicated “republic of NGOs” and donor-beneficiary relationship that exist in Haiti.

As you may know, The Road to Hope collected funds for earthquake relief. We promised you that we would ensure your funds would go directly into the pockets of those who were directly impacted by the earthquake and need it most. We are working on this process right now by speaking with our Haitian partners about possible solutions that range from donating to a trusted NGO partner working directly in the impacted area to donating to displaced individuals that are now in our catchment area. We will keep you updated and you can expect more detailed information in next month’s blog. We hope that you will find this endeavor educational and informative. We encourage you to share it with your friends and family next time they mention Haiti. Talk to you next time!