CARBONDALE, Colo. — The crisis in Haiti is underreported and is mounting, with violence by gangs, kidnappings, and a shortage of gas.
A Carbondale nonprofit, HaitiChildren, is supporting more than 100 kids throughout their orphanage and schools. With Haiti in crisis, this nonprofit located in Arcahaie is also being impacted.
"Haiti is in a really tragic situation there right now,” HaitiChildren Director of Operations Frank Taylor said.
For 27 years, the organization has assisted disabled and abandoned children in Haiti at their schools and orphanage. This year, the organization has fed more than 2 million and assists about 8,000 yearly.
Now those operations are threatened by gangs and a shortage of gas.
“We can't transport our food to our orphanage. So we have some serious concerns regarding the children and making sure our disabled children are getting the medical equipment they need, medical supplies, obviously the food,” Taylor said.
Employees also fear for their own safety.
"The gangs are extremely dangerous. We've had 32 employees either attacked or robbed in the last month,” Taylor said.
Taylor said the gangs have taken the home and a loved one of employee Wilkins Charelus. Charleus is a Haitian native who has worked with the organization for two years. He can only join by phone when safe, and the connection isn’t great.
"Ten thousand families that live – that used to live in this area. They left it because they hear gunshots every day. Those who were going to work, sometimes they got killed. Where I used to live there are two gangs. They are fighting against each other. Can you hear me?” Charleus said.
“Yes, sir, I can hear you,” Taylor said.
The violence is causing many natives to run to safer ground. But it’s a challenge when gangs are blocking ports.
"I really like to get out of Haiti because of the situation. That's one thing happening here. A lot of people are being kidnapped every day,” Charelus said.
With Taylor more than 2,000 miles away, he hopes to continue their good deeds and keep loved ones safe--with your help.
"We just ask that people take a moment, especially on Thanksgiving, to recognize the situation. We have so much to be grateful for here in America. And we're extremely blessed for the situations we have here,” Taylor said.
If you’d like to donate, you can do so here.
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