From the Desk of GARY SIM
You may have caught glimpses of the human disaster taking place in Haiti over the past few weeks. Riots have erupted in the streets because the Haitian citizens have had enough of corruption and violence. Unfortunately, this is NOT a recent development — gangs and violence have become a part of everyday life in major cities like Port-au-Prince.
According to a 2015 World Bank report, Haiti remains the poorest country in the North Americas, with more than 59% of Haitians living below the poverty line, and more than 24% living below the extreme poverty line (meaning that they live on less than $1.23/day)1.
Although there was a significant increase in awareness of physical disability after the 2010 earthquake, the culture remains full of taboos and negative prejudices towards persons with intellectual disabilities. They are often locked up and hidden from society, or are abandoned and left to fend for themselves.
Our L’Arche community, called L’Arche Carrefour, is situated in the core region of Port-au-Prince. It has to be protected by high fences and locked doors to keep our Core Members and Assistants safe.
With the support of our donors, L’Arche Carrefour has survived some of the worst that nature has thrown at the small island nation over the past number of years. But the human danger remains – and is not going away!
The devastation and continued public unrest which affected the L’Arche community in Port-au-Prince activated a core question: How do we rebuild the community?
And, after seven long years of planning and searching, our prayers have been answered — we have found a property in an area which is much safer and where our community will be fully accepted and included in the surrounding community.
The location allows the core members to be in a safe and pleasant place to evolve; the terrain is quiet and there is freshness thanks to the many fruit trees. It is located not far from the largest hospital centre in Port-au-Prince, “Bernard Mevs”, and also from the reference hospital “OFATMA”.
Our plan is to purchase the land as soon as possible so that the opportunity does not disappear. A new home and workshop will be built on the land as well as a community hall.
Through this new home and workshop, L’Arche Carrefour will develop a long term, safe and stable community and will again be a source of light and hope in a country where hope is elusive. But, in order to realize this dream L’Arche Carrefour desperately needs your help.
The cost of relocation for this community is $120,000. But we need to raise these funds as soon as possible while the opportunity is still available to purchase the land.
Your gift today of ANY amount, will help ensure that the Core Members and Assistants in L’Arche Carrefour, Haiti, can stop living in fear and begin living a life of inclusion and dignity. Please give generously and give the gift of dignity — the gift of hope. Thank you for caring and may I wish you many blessings.
Gary Sim President and CEO