Haiti can feel like a place of overwhelming need. Once a lush and fertile tropical paradise like its island neighbors in the Caribbean, Haiti has over the past five hundred years endured countless abuses — leaving it the most barren and impoverished country in the western hemisphere. Generation after generation of colonial and authoritarian leaders have exploited and mismanaged Haiti's resources. With skyrocketing unemployment, a collapsed infrastructure and little-to-no social support services, most of the population lives in heartbreaking poverty. High rates of crime and violence also endanger children and families. When equipped with the opportunities and resources they need, however, families in Haiti are empowered to uplift themselves and their communities — and to seek a better future for both their children and their country.
Provinces with Holt family strengthening programs
Provinces with Holt orphan care programs
Provinces from which children can join families through adoption
Through the generosity of sponsors and donors, many families in Haiti receive the tools and resources they need to grow strong, self-reliant and equipped to provide for their children. With a high number of single mothers caring for young children in Port-au-Prince, Holt donors focus in particular on helping these young women — empowering them through job skills training to provide everything their children need, from nutrition and clean water to safe housing and education.
While Holt works in Haiti to keep children in the loving care of their families whenever possible, many children become separated from their families — ending up in care at one of the country's many crèches, or orphanages. At three crèches in Haiti, sponsors and donors provide the critical nutrition and education children need to thrive until they can hopefully rejoin their family, or go home to a family through adoption.
When I think of Haiti, I think of a people who are resilient, who are strong and who are working very hard to improve their circumstances. Their country has many difficulties — from intense poverty to frequent natural disasters to a lack of natural resources and more. But they have a very strong internal resilience and also a great hope for the future. Whenever I go there, I see people working very hard, even though it might not result in the same kind of situation as a person who works hard in the United States. Their circumstances are very difficult, but not for lack of effort. Our Holt Haiti donors' role is not to give a handout, but a hand up — to empower them. The Haitian people already have the resilience and the internal fortitude that's needed, they just need some empowerment. They need generous people like you who can give them a platform where they can realize their dreams.
There are so many ways for you to advocate for orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children in Haiti!