• Dare Humanity

Updated: Sep 18

August was Dare Humanity’s first ever Appreciation Month and we're bringing it over into September!

The goal of this new tradition is to thank all of you who have supported us these past six years. This includes board and advisory board members, interns, partners, donors, and volunteers. We at Dare Humanity would like to deeply thank you for the continued support you’ve given us and your belief in our mission. We truly wouldn’t be here without the encouragement of our partners.

Let’s recap a couple of highlights of what we’ve achieved with your help:

The Men Kontre or Helping Hands program has been prospering recently. This program brings food supplies to families in Port au Prince. Food insecurity has worsened in the recent past due to societal turmoil, but with the help of Men Kontre, there is food on the table for many families. Men Kontre served and fed 223 people over the course of this year, a number that will hopefully keep growing.

Another huge accomplishment is the advancement and success of the Young Dreams Sponsorship Program. It’s incredibly hard for young people to get an education in Haiti because most people have little to no income. Many schools, however, charge high tuition fees. The Young Dreams Sponsorship Program tries to solve this problem by sponsoring the education of many Haitian children. Dare Humanity provides them with school supplies and yearly tuition to support their education.

Lastly, one effort that will hopefully be achieved soon is the Clean Water Initiative. We are in the process of raising funds to bring clean water to the community of Sonyen. We are committed to building two clean water pumps in Sonyen by 2022, a goal we wouldn’t be able to accomplish without your help.

Thank you for all that you have done for Dare Humanity this year and in the past. Your behind-the-scenes efforts working, donating, and volunteering is what pushes this organization closer to accomplishing its goals, and that cannot go without appreciation. Dare Humanity is incredibly grateful for all of the engagement from our partners and hope that you appreciate seeing the applications of your hard work. With your help we will continue striving for prosperity and expansion of our programs.

Stay connected to follow us on our mission and be sure to donate! Part of your contribution will go towards earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.

About the Author

Simone Faulkner is our Blog and Partnerships Intern at Dare Humanity. Growing up in the Bay Area, with its reputation for social change, she realized that her purpose in life is to help people through service and kindness. This is what she plans to do as an intern for Dare Humanity by writing blog posts and exploring partnerships with companies. When she's not volunteering she loves to play soccer, write, bake, and explore the outdoors.

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Updated: Sep 18

In the first week of summer, Haiti had already undergone a vaccine crisis, a fatal shootout, a destructive hurricane, and the assassination of the country’s president on July 7th. Haiti was already in the midst of other ongoing problems such as gang violence, kidnapping, and rising Covid infections, but the weeks that followed shifted the country’s course. We at Dare Humanity are continuing to serve our beneficiaries through the fallout of these events and we are not letting them cloud our mission: to advocate for an enhanced life for women, children and families who live in underserved communities. ​

When the Covid-19 pandemic became a worldwide issue, some countries were hit harder by the virus than others, though surprisingly, Haiti wasn’t as affected as most people thought it would be. Another side effect of the government’s instability and the violent gangs was a shooting in the capital city of Port au Prince that left at least 15 people dead. The Police Chief, Leon Charles, alleges that the shooting was provoked by the killing of a member of a group of disgruntled police officers called Fantom 509 and that the perpetrators of the attack were vengeful members of the group. This is another instance of violence that Haiti has experienced recently that could just act to lengthen the already long list of similar events, but instead is prompting some to speak out. For instance, Marie Rosy August Ducena of the National Network for the Defense of Human Rights says that Haiti is “in a situation where human rights are being denied and life is being trivialized… We cannot continue to count bodies every day.”

Given Port au Prince’s ongoing instability, unfortunately between 15-50% of residents of the capital city are facing food insecurity. With the Helping Hands program, we are providing food for families in Port au Prince twice a month so that they can stay healthy and fed even when the violence in the streets keeps them from leaving their homes.

Although the vaccine release and tragic shooting were somewhat controllable, the tropical storm that hit Haiti over the weekend of July 3rd was entirely unavoidable. Hurricane Elsa brought 70 mile per hour winds and showers of rain to the southern coast of Haiti, taking trees and roofs with it. Fortunately, communities like Sonyen, Deluge, and Port au Prince where our sponsored students go to school, were not in Hurricane Elsa’s path and able to avoid any serious damage.

Now, to end with surely the most shocking event of Haiti’s history, is the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. In an overnight attack on Wednesday, July 7th, a group of gunmen broke into the president’s home, ransacked his offices and bedroom before shooting him 12 times and speeding away. The Haitian ambassador to the United States, Bocchit Edmond, claimed that the attackers were “foreign mercenaries” masquerading as U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents. That Wednesday evening, less than a day after the attack, a shootout took place in Port au Prince between police forces and the suspected “foreign mercenaries,” which ended with four of the assailants dead and two in custody.

Moïse was killed days after announcing the appointment of a new prime minister, Ariel Henry, though hours after the attack, the interim prime minister, Claude Joseph, announced that he is in charge of the country. With his newfound and self appointed position, Joseph has decided to place the country under a “state of siege,” meaning that Haiti is essentially under martial law for 15 days which gives police special accommodations to find the assassins, but may just cause even more fear for the citizens. New developments on the “new government” in Haiti can be found here.

Protests overwhelmed streets in Haiti upon the announcement of President Moïse's assassination with people looking for answers and some wanting to retaliate.

People expressed their lack of support for President Moïse and his activities, but as an organization, we do not stand for violence and we are truly heartbroken that such an event occured.

Image source: The Wall Street Journal - A protest against the president’s assassination in Cap-Haïtien; Photographer: Ricardo Arduengo/Reuters

Haiti’s political environment is turbulent to say the least, and this month has caused irreversible changes that will affect the future of the country, but it’s only the changes that are irrevocable, not their impact. Despite the crises affecting the country right now, we know the people of Haiti are resilient and hopeful for a better future. We are continuing our efforts to strengthen partnerships with our communities, provide food for families in need, and fund the education of our sponsored students. Stay connected to hear more about our work and ways you can help the people of Haiti stay safe, educated, and empowered.

About the Author

Simone Faulkner is our Blog and Partnerships Intern at Dare Humanity. Growing up in the Bay Area, with its reputation for social change, she realized that her purpose in life is to help people through service and kindness. This is what she plans to do as an intern for Dare Humanity by writing blog posts and exploring partnerships with companies. When she's not volunteering she loves to play soccer, write, bake, and explore the outdoors.

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  • Dare Humanity

Olslina Jannaeus

In January of this year, five year old Olslina Jannaeus was kidnapped from the Port-au-Prince streets where she played. Her mother, a peanut vendor, wasn’t able to pay the $4,000 in ransom, and Olslina’s body was dumped a week later.

Evelyne Sincère

Evelyne Sincère was a 22 year old high school senior, abducted from Port-au-Prince in late 2020. Her kidnappers requested $5,500 for her return and revoked the $800 that Evelyne’s sister raised. Then, they beat and sexually assaulted Evelyne, leaving her body in a garbage dump.

Sadly, these cases aren’t rarities; kidnappings in Haiti have tripled since 2019, and the real figures are surely much higher because many abductions go unreported out of fear of retribution from the gangs of kidnappers. In 2004 Haiti went through a similar epidemic of kidnapping, so bad that the United Nations had to send in peacekeeping forces for the civil unrest. Though once those forces left two years ago, the rates resurged.

The current wave of kidnapping is a product of Haiti’s poor economy and unstable government. The government’s decades long struggle is due to several regime changes, internal conflicts, and coup d'états, which have all contributed to a history of impunity that allows the abductions to proceed while justice for the victims recedes.

Many citizens oppose the current government for being so insecure, which has caused the current president, Jovenel Moïse, to allegedly form alliances with violent criminal gangs to maintain his power and stifle dissent. Some human rights activists say that the government has provided the gangs with the money and materials to terrorize his opposers while guarding them from prosecution. The lucrativeness of kidnapping and the government's protection has caused the number of armed gangs to multiply, along with the number of missing children.

Though the kidnappings began due to economic stress, they are now causing even more damage to Haiti’s economy by diminishing interest in tourism. The areas where we work and that house our sponsored students like Saint-Marc and Montrouis are being hit hard by the absence of tourists. Saint-Marc and Montrouis are beautiful coastal cities with nice beaches and wonderful tropical weather that make them a perfect destination for local and international tourism, but the kidnapping and violence have begun to overshadow their idyll. Because of the abductions and gang presence, very few people dare to travel to enjoy the beaches which has caused the unemployment rate of tourism reliant jobs to surge. Social infrastructure is already poor and neglected in the Saint-Marc and Montrouis area, and the soaring kidnapping rates are making it worse. This area houses insufficient and low standard schools, and the countrysides around them have very few or in most cases, no school at all. The majority of the people living in these areas can’t even afford to pay for the education of their children, and less so if they’re unemployed. Not only is kidnapping taking away Haiti’s children, but it is taking away parent’s livelihood and thus, tuition and education for their kids.

The majority of the impacts Haiti is facing due to the kidnapping crisis are political and economic that can be seen through the statistics and data, but it is arguable that the invisible impacts, the psychological damages of the constant abductions, are the most detrimental. Because the bandits abduct anyone regardless of their income, sex, age, or religion, including even doctors and priests, no one is safe. A lot of students in Saint-Marc, including those that we know and who’s education we sponsor, are living in fear that they might be kidnapped too. Although the majority of kidnappings happen in Port-au-Prince, the capital, there are at least two major gangs and several smaller ones in and around Saint-Marc which commit similar atrocities like killing, armed robbery, rape, and kidnapping. These circumstances are stripping the children of their innocence because they are no longer oblivious to what is happening in their communities. It’s possible that their own siblings or friends have been the victims of the tragedies they hear about, or that they have seen the atrocities live, on social media, where the kidnappers post videos of themselves raping and torturing the victims. The children are rightfully scared, but the issue isn’t right.

Although Haiti’s current chapter is indubitably sad, it’s easy to read the victim’s stories and move on. You will only feel the smallest ache of grief compared to the heartbreak of each mother, father, husband, wife, sibling, and friend who loses a loved one. You can move on and forget their names and stories, but the issue still prevails. The rampant impunity in the country, the poor infrastructure in education, and the lack of other basic social services in Saint-Marc, and Haiti overall, have made it easier for a kid to integrate into a gang than to complete school. Nevertheless, education is one of the few alternatives that can help change the community for the better. You can act now and donate to support the education of Haiti’s children.

About the Author:

Simone Faulkner is our Blog and Partnerships Intern at Dare Humanity. Growing up in the Bay Area, with its reputation for social change, she realized that her purpose in life is to help people through service and kindness. This is what she plans to do as an intern for Dare Humanity by writing blog posts and exploring partnerships with companies. When she's not volunteering she loves to play soccer, write, bake, and explore the outdoors.

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