Haiti occupies the western third of the island of Hispaniola and is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. Approximately, 70% of the population are formally unemployed with two-thirds of the workforce having farm-related jobs. Many Haitians try to make a small living through buying and selling various merchandise and food items. Of the total population, 58% live on less than US $1.25 per day. Poverty has forced at least 225,000 Haitian children to work as restavecs (unpaid household servants), which is considered to be a modern-day form of slavery.
Haiti is one of the most densely populated countries in the world with 10.6 million people. Haiti is slightly larger than the state of Maryland at 10,714 square miles. On average, more than 600 people live in one square mile.
On January 12th 2010, a 7.0 earthquake struck near the capital, Port-au-Prince. In less than 35 seconds, over 180,000 buildings were either damaged or destroyed. That included 90% of schools, 60% of hospitals, and 60% of federal buildings in Port-au-Prince. There are no firm figures of lives lost. It is estimated that over 200,000 people were killed and 300,000 people were injured. In the immediate aftermath, over a third of the capital's population was instantly made homeless and 600,000 people left the city. Six months after the earthquake, 1.3 million people were living in 1,300 camps. Over six years later, Haiti is still striving to recover from the earthquake. Countless families still live in tents that were meant to only last one year. Homes, schools, hospitals, and other much needed resources have not been rebuilt.
This is where Mission Direct Haiti wants to partner with you, your church, and your community. Together, we can make a direct difference by empowering our friends of Travail and Turbe, Haiti. Together we can build homes, schools, hospitals, and other dire needs that will forever impact lives.