General

A Note from Carmen

Nov 14, 2022

RECAP

Hello from sunny Haiti! We are at the beginning of our school year but so much has happened, I
can hardly keep track! Here’s a quick recap of our academic year to date – read all the way to
the end to see how you can help! Our first day of school was on August 31 with 320 students.
Everyone was so excited to be back! We were closed temporarily twice due to political strife.
And now, we have been closed now since September 19.
Early in September the port here in Port-de-Paix was closed by port officials for alleged illegal
gun imports. People here locally began protesting and rioting in the streets because many
people depend on ships for their livelihood. Because of the rioting, we closed school to keep
our students and teachers safe.

THE POLITICS

At the same time but unrelated to events here in town, a coalition of gangs in Port-au-Princetook the nation’s fuel supply hostage, asking for the Prime Minister to step down. (Haiti has yet to hold elections since the president’s assassination in June 2021.) A small local gang of bandits came to Sonlight and other aid organizations to force us to close, throwing rocks and threatening us (breaking $2500 worth of windows). They broke through our gate, walked around, took a water bottle and left our yard. We know God protected us.

DAILY LIFE


The Academy re-opened October 1 with take-home packets, which we are now experts in,
thanks to Covid. We pray we can open soon but in the meantime, our staff is working hard and
getting paid monthly.

We are using solar daily, and generator power for 1 hour each day. That is some quick laundry,
cooking, coffeemaking, ironing, water filtering, water heating, water pumping! Gasoline on the black market is 800 – 1000 Haitian dollars/gallon. Before the siege it was 25/gallon. John is holding out for the pump price, but the rest of us would be willing to pay a little more!

The cost of food has doubled, transportation costs have tripled. People are hungry again like
they were under Duvalier’s regime (1987) and during the US embargo (1994), and walk for
miles to get where they need to be.

The hospital closest to us is partially open, but others have closed entirely. Clean water is
difficult to find as water filtration plants have closed. Thankfully due to our water system,
Sonlight is able to provide clean water to our employees.

So many of you have asked how you can help. The needs of our friends, neighbors and students
have increased dramatically, and we are doing everything we can to give as much as we can –
food, water, medicine, money. Our operating costs have increased. We need to replace the
broken windows and gate. The fastest and best way you can help now is by giving here. You can designate your gift to the general fund, to support our staff, or help students. Any amount you can give helps. Any amount you pray is even more helpful.

Thank you for investing in God’s work in Haiti. We’re here for it.

Blessings,
Carmen