In January 2010, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake devastated Haiti, even then considered the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. More than 200,000 people died, more than 180,000 homes and 5,000 schools were damaged or destroyed. More than 1.5 million people were left homeless. Today, the rebuild of the nation is under way and although the progress has been slow and painful at times, there’s no denying the resilience of its people.
WCF has been involved in Haiti since its inception in 2007 primarily in its sponsorship of Medical Clinics as well as funding community projects with our partner, Caribbean Grace Tabernacle. Its founder, Elsie Lherisson, born and raised in Haiti, had a successful career in the United States, but felt a call to go back to her homeland and start a children’s ministry called Caribbean Grace Tabernacle in 1996. Hundreds of children, teens and young adults now attend the ministry.
The Program provides lunches for 50 children for 5 days of the week. Most of these children come from the poorest of the poor, many living in the slum areas known as the ‘Ravines’ that surround the community. The unemployment rate in these areas is estimated at 70% and the malnutrition rate is 75%.
The cost of this program including food costs, propane for the ovens and salaries for the workers come to about $2,000 per month. This works out to a per child cost:
Starting in 2015, WCF will come alongside the ministry to support the food/nutrition program. This will be part of our broader program with our Haiti partners to provide for humanitarian needs as well as long-term education sponsorships and English Camps leading ultimately to establishing a Life Center.