AKRON, Pa. — As a political and humanitarian crisis worsens in Haiti, a nonprofit organization with strong ties to Lancaster County is asking the public for prayers, financial support and sponsorship of care packages.
YWAM (Youth With A Mission) Haiti, formed in 1991, has 21 staff members who live in Haiti full time to meet evangelistic, training and outreach needs.
Tens of thousands of Haitians have taken to the streets since mid-September to demand the resignation of President Jovenel Moïse.
The country is experiencing strife in many ways.
• At least 42 people have died and 86 people have been injured since protests began. (UN High Commissioner for Human Rights)
• Some 3.67 million Haitians are facing either a crisis or emergency when it comes to getting food. (Miami Herald, citing a Haitian government report)
• Fuel shortages, roadblocks and unrest have prompted the closing of hospitals and schools.
“If the lockdown continues, we are about two weeks away from seeing at-risk families starve,” Wayne Snow, director of YWAM St. Marc Haiti, said in a news release.
YWAM Haiti board members have held emergency meetings to monitor the crisis from the United States.
Staff members with the St. Marc, Haiti, campus have facilitated meetings of area pastors to coordinate the religious community’s response, which includes a new food pantry in St. Marc, Haiti’s fourth-largest city and home to 250,000 people.
“To me, seeing the growth and change over the years in the St. Marc region has been incredible through building Homes of Hope and taking on other initiatives. The reports of what is happening now in Haiti are heartbreaking,” board member Marvin Martin said in the release.
YWAM Haiti officials have asked for prayers for peace in Haiti and the opportunity to demonstrate God’s love during the turmoil.
The organization also has asked for financial support as the inflation rate reaches nearly 23% and access to fuel is extremely limited.
YWAM Haiti is offering an opportunity to sponsor care packages to be distributed on or around the Thanksgiving holiday.
Each care package contains rice, beans and cooking oil, and can feed a family of five for three days.
The organization also is distributing Bibles in the Creole language.
To sponsor a $25 care package, go to www.ywamstmarchaiti.org or the YWAM Saint Marc Haiti Facebook page (facebook.com/ywam.haiti).
Check also may be sent to Youth With A Mission Haiti, P.O. Box 236, Akron, PA 17501.