A Day in the Life of an Orphan
The children in Haiti are no different than the children in America, except that Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas and the 3rd poorest country in the world. However, children are children regardless of geography. To grow up in Haiti, more often than not, means the houses are poorly made with dirt floors, no electricity, and no bathrooms, and being hungry is a state of being. Malnutrition alone is a constant and continual battle. There are no government programs to help the Haitian people. Compared to the United States which offers numerous government programs to help the poor and disadvantaged, from Medicaid to Medicare to food stamps and public housing. The comparison is staggering and sobering. Some of the painful statistics in Haiti is one out of five children will die before the age of six. Coupled with 75% of the Haitian people live in poverty. How do children thrive in a country with inflation rates that haven’t been this high in over 40 years, gangs that control more than 50% of the capital city, and violence so unspeakable for children and young women that no one should even know about much less experience?
Education in Haiti for Children?
How are children educated in the worst of worst conditions? Not very well, as you can imagine. The enrollment of students hovers around 57% in elementary school, with fewer than 30% of the students reaching the 6th grade. Secondary schools enroll about 20% of the eligible age children. Again, compared to the United States, where all children are eligible to receive free education including a breakfast and lunch program. There is no “national” campaign or program for education in Haiti. In a country that struggles with basic life necessities, education is seen as a luxury by many. When there is no government, how does an economy run, programs move forward, and policing happen? The short answer is it just doesn’t, and that is the situation we find ourselves in today:. No government, unspeakable violence, extreme poverty, and disease.
There are Glimmers of Hope
With all these facts presented and not overstated, there are glimmers of hope. Organizations, not just GLA but other non-profit organizations that care and do make an impact. GLA stands in the gap of this devastation and offers a refuge of hope. Hope in the sense of a safe place to sleep, hot meals on the table, clean clothes to wear, access to clean water, and all of life’s necessities. But there is more at GLA….children have the opportunity to be children. Play, laugh, sing, dance, go on field trips, learn, read, and receive love – all those things that we may take for granted with our own children. There’s no comparison between the opportunities in the United States and Haiti, but there is a comparison between the children of Haiti and the children of GLA. We are a family, a big family that cares ,plays, teaches, and loves the Angel orphans that come through our gates. But it is only made possible through the generous giving of the GLA Guardians. The Guardians do exactly that: protect. feed, and care for the orphans that come through our gates. They love and care for children they have never met. Love comes in all shapes and sizes, and the Guardians are those loving protectors that allow these orphans to just be children. If you know someone that would love to become part of the GLA Guardian program, please reach out!