Tired of Haiti?

As I wrote this, I opened up Google, clicked over to News, and searched for “Haiti.” Above, you’ll see some of the first headlines I saw.

 

We’ve associated Haiti with sad news stories for a long time, and the world is weary of crisis after crisis. How do the Haitian people feel?

 

They tell you they are exhausted.

 

The median age in Haiti is only 23 years old. Imagine what a Haitian has experienced in those 23 years.

  • At five, a violent rebellion drives your President into exile. 
  • At eleven, perhaps the biggest earthquake in your country’s history shakes your city to the ground. Maybe you lose a family member. Maybe you lose them all. 
  • Almost every year, there is a major hurricane. The foreign aid you hear about never reaches you.
  • At twenty, as you begin to think of starting your own family, your country goes into peyi lok, or “country lockdown.” At twenty-one, there is COVID-19. At twenty-two, the President is assassinated.
  • Now, at twenty-three, your capital city is largely controlled by gangs, inflation hovers around 30 percent, and (even if you could afford it) there is no fuel available to get to work or visit your family.

 

The greatest disservice we can do to Haiti is to know this and to look away. 

 

Yes, it’s overwhelming. It’s saddening. It feels like it never gets any better. But that’s not the whole story.

 

If you keep up with us at Heartline, you’ll notice we intentionally show you another side of Haiti. There are beautiful, healthy babies born almost every day. There are families who show up to do their part and serve their communities however they can. There are marriages, and birthdays, and graduations. 

It doesn’t make the pain any less real. But we can’t ever forget that there is burning, undying hope in Haiti. It lives in the parents welcoming a new child, in the elders who remember a more peaceful time, in the men and women across the island who refuse to give up on their country.

 

To look away from Haiti is to turn our backs on the hope that still exists there.

 

In this season of darkness, thank you for sticking with us. The dawn will break eventually, and our team in Haiti is working harder than ever to make it happen. 

About the Author

 

Jake Kless


Jake joined the Heartline team in 2022, bringing with him a background in branding & marketing, supporting nonprofits, businesses, and political campaigns. At Heartline, he aims to find and tell stories that strengthen the relationship between Haitians and the rest of the world. Jake is passionate about economic justice, inherent human dignity, and how we can fight for those causes with powerful stories. He lives in downtown Phoenix, AZ.

2 Comments

  • Linda Kless says:

    Thank you for the reminder that Haitians are a resilient people filled with courage & unbelievable strength. They only want what we all want peace, purpose, home, family.

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