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Currently the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti has experienced political instability for most of its history. After an armed rebellion led to the forced resignation and exile of President Jean-Bertrand ARISTIDE in February 2004, an interim government organized new elections under the auspices of the UN. Continued instability and technical delays prompted repeated postponements, but Haiti inaugurated a democratically elected president and parliament in May 2006. This was followed by contested elections in 2010 that resulted in the election of Haiti's current President, Michel MARTELLY. A massive magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti in January 2010 with an epicenter about 25 km (15 mi) west of the capital, Port-au-Prince. Estimates are that over 300,000 people were killed and some 1.5 million left homeless. The earthquake was assessed as the worst in this region over the last 200 years.

Currently the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere with 80% of the population living under the poverty line and 54% in abject poverty, the earthquake further inflicted $7.8 billion in damage and caused the country's GDP to contract. In 2011, the Haitian economy began recovering from the earthquake. However, two hurricanes adversely affected agricultural output and the low public capital spending slowed the recovery in 2012. Two-fifths of all Haitians depend on the agricultural sector, mainly small-scale subsistence farming, and remain vulnerable to damage from frequent natural disasters, exacerbated by the country's widespread deforestation.

(The World Factbook)

Our Sponsor Site in Haiti North

Significant challenges have existed in this area for decades, not the least of which has been the difficulty in accessing safe drinking water. The earthquake in January 2010 compounded these challenges and created a deeper misery among the population. Ten months after the earthquake, a terrible outbreak of cholera occurred among those who had been hardest hit by the earthquake. With no access to safe drinking water or medical care, there were many casualties resulting from this tragic epidemic including the death of one of Chalice’s sponsor children. In response to a request for aid from the staff of Haiti North, Chalice provided Aquatab tablets to purify their drinking water. Meetings were then held with parents, teachers, principals, and most importantly, the children in order to give instruction on how to prevent contracting this terrible disease. Chalice will continue to be in solidarity with the most vulnerable persons who are working to rebuild their lives and their communities.

The Director of Chalice Haiti North Sponsor Site is Sister Gina Biaini NDSC (Notre Dame de Sacre Coeur from New Brunswick, Canada). The Sisters work in Terrier-Rouge and Grand-Bassin, which are situated in northeastern Haiti between the city of Cap-Haitien and the Dominican Republic. Before Chalice’s involvement, many children rarely completed their primary education. Since Chalice’s presence, the children are eager to get an education, to learn how to read and write. Through the help of Chalice and generous sponsors in Canada, the children are able to attend secondary school.

Chalice Inc, PO Box 846011, Boston, MA
02284-6011 USA