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Montrouis, Haiti

Become aware of how much others struggle to simply survive.

In the village of Montrouis, there is no running water or electricity in homes. To get water children are often sent to the river or to a well to retrieve water in buckets.

This water is used for cooking, bathing, washing clothes, AND drinking.  Water is not always clean and can make the people very sick.

Homes are made of cardboard, tar paper, and pieces of tin or plastic patched together to form tiny, one room shacks.  Some have cinderblock walls, but almost all look like they could

crumble with just the smallest storm. Floors are dirt, and a piece of ripped cloth often serves as a door. As many as a dozen adults and children may live in one shack. Families share cramped sleeping space on the floor or rotate sharing beds. 

Toys: A Universal Symbol of Joy 

You will be happy to know that resourcefulness and creativity is alive and well among the children of Haiti! As you may have guessed, toys are relatively rare in Haiti. The children who receive gifts from their sponsors are often blessed with the first, and perhaps only, toy they will ever receive in their lives. However, the need to play is no less real in Haiti than anywhere else on earth. So Haitian children are left to do what American children did in generations past—they make their own toys. Two very popular homemade toys among Haitian kids are plastic bottle cars and bottle cap doll furniture. Plastic bottle cars are typically made by using a water bottle or oil can for the body, lollipop sticks and bottle lids for the wheels and axles, and a simple string to pull the car along. Children usually fashion their doll furniture by flattening metal bottle caps, fastening them together with clear tape, and molding them into the shape of chairs, tables, beds, etc. Some of these young artists take the craft even further by fashioning furniture out of carved wood and thatched palm leaves. All of these creative works serve as a testament to the creativity and imagination of the Haitian children, who prove to all of us that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to make something truly special! 

 

Facts:

  • Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
  • Minimal to no infrastructure in parts of the country
  • Most Haitian people survive on $1 a day.
  • Haitian children are not able to eat every day, attend school, or drink clean water.
  • Haiti is the size of Maryland, but has double the population.
  • A shortage of safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation, and severe malnutrition plague Haitians and leave them vulnerable to TB and many other deadly illnesses.
  • Many children do not sleep on a bed. Five or six people share a home, likely not bigger than a standard American bedroom.
  • Haiti is a beautiful country less than 2 hours from Miami.
  • Some of the children have bloated bellies and a reddish tinge to their hair- signs of malnutrition and starvation.
  • The poverty and devastation does not prevent the Haitian people from being happy and praising God.              

Map of Haiti, see Montrouis- northwest of Port-au-Prince 

 

"Pataje ak pѐp Bondye a ki bezwen ѐd."

"Share with God’s people who need help."
Romans 12:13

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
-Matthew 25: 35-36
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