As the world looks on, Haiti has remained paralyzed by demonstrations in reaction to the lifting of government aid on fuel. In a country already struck by extreme poverty, the situation has grown more dire in recent days. With many roads blocked, transportation thwarted, reports of kidnappings, and countless shops and businesses closed for fear of looting, gang violence has taken to the streets, occupying certain territories. Charities and aid groups do what they can to help, but experts say international action is needed to bring about restoration.
Prime Minister Ariel Henry announced that the prices of gasoline and other fuels will continue rising sharply as the state claims it does not have necessary funds to continue government subsides.
The prices of diesel and kerosene have nearly doubled. This has sparked anger and frustration throughout the population that already experiences food insecurity and destitution.
At Sant Zaveryen, in-person classes have been disrupted by demonstrations. In the Fall, nearly all activities were at a standstill. Brothers Vincent and Adolph organized an outing for some of the young people at the Sant. The opportunity was used to de-stress and to show the young men that the Brothers stand with them despite their challenges.
“Unfortunately, we have had poor internet signal,” wrote Brother Adolph. “Despite this, classes and studies continue online.”
As the gang violence increased, Haiti’s faltering government ordered schools closed. Brother Bill Griffin, a missionary to Haiti, stated that the first question he was asked by one of the children at St. Gabriel’s School in Fontaine, a school opened by a Sant graduate, was, “Will we get any food?” This heartbreaking question spoke volumes to the dire circumstances faced by Haitian families.
Although internet connection continues to waver, the students have remained resilient. On behalf of the students at Sant Zaveryen, Brothers Vincent and Adolph thank all those who help provide opportunities which make a difference in many lives and provide futures with hope amid chaos. They ask for continued prayer.