Haiti faces threats to child safety and education

Apr 17, 2024 | Politics | 0 comments

Amidst recurrent school closures and widespread displacement, the children of Haiti are enduring immense suffering amidst the ongoing turmoil in the Caribbean nation.

Port-au-Prince, the capital city, remains engulfed in violence and political instability, with gangs exerting control over key areas and tens of thousands of residents fleeing the unrest.

As reported by the United Nations, half of the approximately 360,000 displaced individuals are children, highlighting the dire situation faced by Haiti’s youth. Educators in Port-au-Prince emphasise the detrimental impact of the prolonged school closures on the development of these young individuals.

Angie Bell, executive administrator of Bell Angelou School, explains, “Whenever there is a protest, all schools are closed. So, for example, for this year, the kids have not been in school for three months. They started in January for two weeks and for the whole month of February there was no school because of protests.”

Despite these challenges, determined young Haitians continue to pursue education and dreams of a better future. Keslay Antoine, a 19-year-old student aspiring to become a tech entrepreneur, remains focused on his studies amid the chaos.

Others, like 20-year-old Iden Joseph, have had to postpone their plans due to financial constraints. Selling homemade lunches in the market, Joseph still dreams of contributing to Haiti’s development if given the opportunity.

Meanwhile, maternity centres in Haiti continue to provide essential services despite the unrest. Organisations like Second Mile Haiti work tirelessly to offer prenatal care and support to expectant mothers, aiming to reduce infant mortality rates in the country.

Since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July 2021, Haiti has been plagued by political instability and violence. Scheduled elections failed to materialise, leading to increased social unrest and attacks by armed gangs on public institutions.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry announced his intention to resign on March 12, pending the creation of a transitional presidential council, as reported by local media.

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