Some good news from Haiti

The rather serious young man in the picture is Jose Dessources. Shortly after our son, William, was born Susan & I decided to sponsor a child through Plan International. We were allocated this little boy who is now 17 the same age as our son. He lives in Haiti and looking back at the correspondence over the past decade and a half or so has been a sobering experience.

Haiti seems to have been through all sorts of natural disasters from hurricanes through earthquakes to epidemics.

The response to these has been has been painfully inadequate due to the poor infrastructure with repeatedly corrupt and incompetent governments doing little to alleviate the lot of the population. You may be familiar with Haiti from the sixties when Papa Doc Duvalier, his son Baby Doc and the evil TonTon Macoute conducted a reign of terror which featured genocide as a way of intimidating the population.

Haiti is situated on the Western side of the island of Hispaniola, which was the site of the first European colony in the New World, the Eastern portion of the island is the Dominican Republic. The annual income per head in Haiti is $1,300 per year in the Dominican Republic it is $8,200.

There is an irony in its poor status as it was the first independent nation in Latin America and the world’s first black-led republic after a slave rebellion.

Following the devastating earthquake in January 2010 which killed at least 250,000 people, Jose disappeared off Plan’s radar, like hundreds of thousands of his country men he was presumed to have been made homeless. As cholera spread through the capital city we became increasingly anxious for the fate of Jose and his family.

Yesterday we received a letter from Plan to tell us that Jose and his family were alive and well, at this time there is very little information but our prayers have been answered. So Jose wherever you are I hope you and your family have the best Christmas possible and that 2011 is an easier for you and your country.

If you have a child or children of your own please take some time to think about sponsoring a child through Plan, knowing about Jose has helped William to understand and appreciate his place in the world. At £13 a month can you really say you can’t afford it?

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