Access to Maternal Healthcare Suffers as Gang Violence Hits Home

What’s Happening?

While gang activity and unrest have been part of operating in Port au Prince for all of our time in Haiti, it’s elevated to crippling levels following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse last summer.

During the last week of April, the violence came to our neighborhood. Hunkered down in the Maternity Center with bullets literally flying overhead, we were faced with one of our hardest decisions ever. Should we close the Maternity Center? How can we live our mission if we cannot operate? The closest comparison we can relate would be the transformation of the Maternity Center during the 2010 earthquake. As it was then, we are in a position where a major shift is required to execute our mission. True to our beliefs, we are in it for the long haul and we are pressing forward with our mission. 

After safely evacuating our team during lulls in gunfire, we began the perilous process of recovering as much as we could with the goal of finding a temporary location in which we could provide our clients with the healthcare they deserve. We are thankful for the bravery and passion of Heartline Team members who literally risked their lives to recover critical supplies from our once peaceful oasis, now, a war zone.

We believe in “stay and listen” because we are committed to faithfulness.

Heartline Executive Director, Troy Livesay and Heartline leadership on the ground began scouting locations for a temporary clinic almost immediately. We needed to find a location where mothers and employees can safely arrive. We need there to be electricity (even if we bring in batteries/generator, that is fine) and water. We need the landlord not to demand a year’s worth of rent upfront. (Photo – Heartline Executive Director, Troy, and Heartline Maternity Center Administrator, Elose are keeping smiles through it all.) 

The lack of access to care is the exact reason we began a prenatal program in 2007, later adding delivery/postpartum services in 2009 and 2010.

The access to care has not improved. Our little program has great statistics (truly amazing stats) and we are happy to have never lost a mom in or after labor.
The stats in Haiti itself are horrific. Women die frequently in the first six weeks after delivery, women die due to complications in pregnancy. Most of what these women are dying from are things that can be easily addressed if there is excellent care available. 
We are heartbroken that the gangs continue to cause harm to their own communities. The girlfriends and families of these gang members will suffer difficult pregnancies and increased complications due to the fighting and the stress it causes an entire community.

A new week – finding a temporary location.

This week, we have dedicated our time to locate a suitable temporary location for operations. It’s been filled with ups and downs, opportunities, and missed opportunities. Thankfully, we’ve been safe and we’ve made progress. 
As of Tuesday (05.3.22), the team is moving supplies and equipment into our temporary location. Mothers and their babies will not be denied their care and we will be able to welcome them to this temporary location away from the violence and unrest that has overtaken our community and beloved maternity center.
We will return to the MC, but for now, as in 2010, we are shifting gears and making it work with what we are given. This move, this fluidity in our operations would not be possible without you. Your prayers and financial support allow us to pay salaries, protect our teams and shift sites when safety demanded it. You were there. We know that and we appreciate you. Thank you for investing in families with Heartline. Thank you for sending the message to mothers, children, and families that says, “I see you. I am with you. I care for you.” By investing in this work, you are communicating your solidarity in their time of need.

Is it possible to maintain access to maternal healthcare?

We believe it is and we believe it’s worth every effort to provide access to quality maternal healthcare. We know you do too! 

This temporary move will not be easy and it will require we divert funds to unexpected rent, new equipment that wasn’t recovered, and additional labor in support of the operation. It is all worth it. Thank you for believing with us. 

We believe all women deserve access to quality maternal healthcare regardless of wealth, race, or faith background. We believe in tackling the root causes of poverty, oppression, and injustice by supporting and equipping the women of the world as mothers.

What can I do?

Many have reached out and asked for the names of team members so you can pray. Thank you! We’ve provided a list below of each member of the team at the MC. Additionally, pray for the security team members and our operations leaders who are assisting in the logistics and planning. 

We would ask that you continue to pray for the people of Haiti. In this case, the families impacted the communities of Clercine, Tabarre, and other local villages. We know of at least 22 deaths as a result of this past week’s violence. Some, our neighbors for well over a decade. 

We believe that lament and joy are sisters in this work. We are unafraid of the hard and challenging truth of life in the developing world. We believe in holding space for the truth-telling of lament and grief. But we also believe in making a commitment to celebration, to life and joy as an act of resistance to despair, anxiety, hopelessness, and powerlessness. 

Join us as we pray for the team at the Maternity Center.
Midwives and Nurses 
  • Elose
  • Mica
  • Islande
  • Guerline
  • Fredelyne
  • Nadia
  • Youseline
  • Stephanie
  • Ruth Chama
  • Fleurgie
  • Loudina
  • Sancara
Support Staff
  • Gran R.
  • Rosena
  • Maggie
  • Wislene
  • Pierre
  • Madianne

Heartline Security Team

Heartline Operations Leaders 

Thank you for your well wishes, your prayers, and your financial support. Together, we’re investing in families every day and you are making an impact. 


  • Susan says:

    My heart is afire to “make a wall, stand in the gap…”, (committed intercession), (Ezek. 22:30),” hold your arms up….” (Ex 17:12) in the battle believing God goes before, around, and behind you as you say YES! to the call.

    “Blessed be the Lord, Heartline’s Rock, who trains their hands for war and their fingers for the battle. God’s lovingkindness is Heartline’s fortress, their high tower and their deliverer. God is the shield and the one they take refuge in and HE will subdue the people under them.” Psalm 144:1 is one of the prayers God led me to pray over you and those God has called you to influence for JESUS.

    You are not forgotten…..Numbers 6:24-26

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