January 12th, 2010 was a day that changed many lives. What would have been a relatively minor 7.0 quake in North America, left the impoverished tiny Caribbean country of Haiti devastated. Estimates range from 60k to 316k dead, over 300k injured, and 1.5m people displaced into camps. Regardless of the accuracy of the estimates the earthquake easily qualifies as one of the worst natural disasters of our lifetime in the western hemisphere. The greatest tragedy in all of this aren’t the numbers killed, hurt, and displaced; it’s the impact on those left behind, and born of the disaster.
Generational Disasters or Lifetime Opportunity?
UNICEF estimates put the number of orphans in Haiti prior to the earthquake at about 380,000. Experts now estimate that the number of orphans has doubled to about 750,000 since the earthquake. The generational disaster that will result from these numbers if they are left unchallenged will mean poverty, human trafficking and dependency for the people of Haiti well beyond our lifetime. The opportunity in these numbers is that because of the age and desire for education among these 700k kids, a new generation of leaders can be equipped to bring Haiti out of the cycles of hopelessness they are trapped in. The question is how.
Getting resources, healthcare, and education to those 700k orphans can seem daunting. The good news is, there is an amazing channel to do just that, with honest, loving, people who are ready, willing, and doing this work already. Getting them the tools they need without washing it through the corruption in place is possible. A great example of that is Kurt and Tracy Stepka, and Emmanuel Mardigras at the Leogane Orphanage. This small team is providing food, shelter, hygiene, education, and healthcare to over 100 local orphans and they have the ability, and property to scale. While the best alternative for any orphan in these situations is adoption into a family, absent the opportunity to do that, people like these are the kids best hope at breaking the cycles in Haiti. In the long run, it will cost far less to get behind these local efforts than it would if we just poured more money into already proven dysfunctional relief efforts.
What Can You Do?
The Sea Change Leogane Kids campaign provides direct funding to meet the needs at the orphanage. All the proceeds from items purchased here, and the crowdfund campaign will go to helping these kids and directly equipping their local leaders. This is the Sea Change in the way individuals can get behind a cause, follow the money directly, and interact in the lives, and causes they’re supporting.
Join us, and see first hand how this project works and Sea Change 4 Leogane Haiti Kids!