Update on Amurtel in Haiti

Good News! Our children safely evacuated Port au Prince this past month!

I am happy to share the wonderful news 33 children and 6 adults safely made it out of the city, and are now beginning to build a new home in Sainte Suzanne.  Five of the little ones who are not able to swim have stayed behind with 4 adults, to come to the land once there are measures in place to protect them from the nearby stream. They are currently safe and enjoying so much more room and attention now with the older kids gone.

The Move: We rented a mini-bus, and after weeks of sorting through the essentials, kids, musical instruments, and household items were loaded.  Although the children were excited for the new adventure, it was also a time of anxiety, as for many of the kids, the Amurtel home is the first and only place they have known safety and love.  Much planning went into the actual drive out of the city as the situation with gangs, kidnappings, and vehicles being hijacked and burned has reached alarming levels.  Our little caravan joined a convey with protection on a Wednesday afternoon, and all breathed a sigh of relief when the last road block was cleared and the bus could move ahead with ease.

Just a few days after the evacuation, the US State Department put a call for all non-essential US workers and citizens to leave Haiti, as the situation in the city continues to deteriorate. Our little family got out just in time.

A New Home: When the children arrived at the new land, they were at first unsure- it is very rural, with no amenities. But then they jumped in, coming to love the quiet, the abundant nature everywhere and the kindness of the local people. After just a few days there, 26 of the children went off to an international music camp, where from all reports, they are thriving and excited to be studying with other young musicians and top instructors.

To date: Through your support, we have been able to dig 2 wells- one for the home and one for the community.  Solar panels are installed so there is now wifi and a signal for phones. A temporary kitchen has been set up, and temporary shelters have been built. The villagers have been gracious and welcoming, bringing large baskets of fresh mangos, bananas, papayas and vegetables, (a big change from the diet in Port au Prince where it was almost impossible to find fresh fruit and veggies).

Next steps:  Plans are being drawn for the new children’s home, along with proper septic and bathrooms, with construction to begin as funds allow. The children will be enrolled in school for this September.

Thank you all for your generous support in helping to provide a safe, loving environment for these amazing children. A new chapter has opened, where the kids can play outside, where food is abundant, where gunfire is no longer a daily back drop, and where they are no longer haunted by the fear of being killed. Please feel free to share this with those who might also be interested in helping.

With heartfelt thanks