The Coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic has brought us to question our every move, including the number of times we touched our faces, washed our hands, how far we stood from our neighbors, or those who walk passed us. In countries like Haiti, where the majority struggle to feed themselves daily, staying home poses the risk of dying of hunger. We thank God for the fact that the 27 HIV-positive children He has allowed us to care for can stay home and have their basic needs met.
On March 19, 2020, Haitian authorities shared data on their first COVID-19 case. Since then, we learned that the US government has returned at least 200 undocumented Haitian nationals who was once held in ICE detentions, many of whom had physical symptoms of the virus. Though the Haitian government has tested quarantined and isolated those returned by the US government and regular travelers, cases of COVID-19 are on the rise. There is evidence of people dropping dead in the streets.
To protect our children, we have reduced staff to children's contact, meaning, only the live-in staff and the nurse are allowed direct contact with the children. The live-in staff has had minimal contact with the outside world and not been able to return their homes since March 19. We stockpiled on necessary items as best as we could in the month of March since we know there is no law against price gouging in Haiti. We replenished first aid items and purchased disposable masks, but one of our members donated 100 reusable masks. Likewise, we bought special buckets with water dispensers and placed them at the entrance for handwashing before entering the house. Here’s how it goes - - when one of the women leaves the house for any reason, upon returning, she is to wash her hands at the gate, walk to the back of the house to shower, and change into clean clothes before entering the house. Space, of course, has been one of the things that challenge us; however, we have set a small amount of space aside to use to isolate anyone who may become ill with the virus.
On our finances: Although we are operating with less than 50 percent of our staff, we are still paying all the staff stipends; however, we are not sure how long we will continue to do this financially. We ask that you please continue to pray for our financial situation.