This winter, Tzu Chi USA returned to Haiti on a new mission to provide nourishment to families and offer shoes for students living in La Saline and Cité Soleil- the latter of which the UN once dubbed the ‘most dangerous place on Earth.’
Throughout the entire mission, which took place from January 21st to 24th, we provided approximately 200 tons of rice to 9,608 families. That’s 19,000 bags altogether, with another 1,000 to be handed out in door-to-door distributions in the next few weeks.
Crowds eagerly waited in anticipation of the distributions, as Tzu Chi volunteers from the US worked with waves of dedicated and hardworking local volunteers from Port-au-Prince.
It’s estimated that Haiti is has the lowest food availability in the world, and that roughly 50% of the population is undernourished. With these odds, every grain of rice counts, and we know that a simple staple can go a long way to nourishing families who struggle with food insecurity and hunger everyday.
What’s more, we’ve rallied so much support during the mission from our Haitian brothers and sisters, including Father Zuchi Obrice, who helped establish a canteen in Cité Soleil to serve the elderly and those with disabilities. Volunteers helped prepare hot, wholesome, and vegetarian meals and brought cheer to the most precious members of their community.
See the canteen in action
We also delivered 12,000 shoes for school children in local schools in Port-au-Prince earlier in December, with another batch distributed during our January trip. A pair of shoes may seem like a small gesture, but for a family choosing between new shoes and their next few meals, quality, well-fitting shoes are a luxury.
To round it out, we also gave rice to parents, and hope to give out another 8,000 pairs of shoes to Haiti by the end of February.
You can help us reach a world of no poverty and zero hunger to families in the most underserved parts of the world. Will you join hands with us?