It seems that RFA as it was originally conceived is no longer possible to fund. Due to the political instability and dangerous circumstances in Haiti, we have been unable to send teams to safely work with our children for over three years. This not only impacts the connection we have with our children and staff in Haiti, it also impacts our excitement for our program and for fundraising abilities.
We have had to respond to dire circumstances this year by funding a very expensive security wall for our compound in Les Cayes. The safety wall was necessary as we had some dangerous circumstances prior to its construction. Our choices were to continue to fund our program at a comfortable level throughout the year OR to spend 13 thousand US dollars on the security wall and keep our children safe. As loving stewards we of course put our children first and had faith that somehow money would be raised to continue the program.
During that time prices have risen and the banking system has changed as well. Everything is more expensive and our monthly coffers have decreased.
The program consists of 18 children in Chantal on the compound that we own, and two homes in Les Cayes for the older children. Staff is supported in all homes.
Through discussion, we are making the very painful decision to start to change the focus of our program from providing loving homes for our children to providing food and education for them in their own homes – either their parents, or a relative. We are suggesting that we start with the older children and have them move back into the communities from whence they first came to us in September. This will save us approximately 500 per month.
We will also severely cut back our STEP program which provides the children with a small allowance, has one staff member and instructs them on educational opportunities as well as providing community service. My hope is that the community service may continue.
These changes will save us approximately 700 per month which may get us through September. We will also have any of our older children, who are not going to school or apprenticing, return to their relatives without additional support.The next step, if we cannot get some more financial support, would be to send all of our children home to relatives and continue to have their relatives come to Chantal as a food distribution monthly point and to pay for their education directly.
I am open to any suggestions that you may have. As you all do – I feel that this is painful and heartwrenching. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated – you all are the strength of the organization.