Despite its beautiful countryside and vibrant culture, Haiti has struggled to prosper under the weight of a long history of extreme poverty, political turmoil, and numerous devastating natural disasters. Since the deadly and destructive earthquake in January 2010, the number of orphans and abandoned children has soared. Although the actual number is difficult to ascertain, estimates show that the number of orphans has doubled to 750,000 (Source: Haiti Orphan Project). Ensuring the well being of these children and rebuilding the fragile Haitian economy is absolutely critical for current and future generations.
Our work in Haiti focuses on improving the health and welfare of orphans, utilizing strategies including nutritional support, vegetable gardens, income generation, improving access to healthcare, and ensuring access to education, clean water and proper sanitation. We are currently partnering with 28 orphanages and providing daily nutritional support to 1,450 orphans with locally procured food. Our staff in Haiti works closely with farmers and farmers associations in an effort to create stable markets and positively impact the lives of farmers and their families.
Guatemala is known for its mountainous and heavily forested countryside dotted with beautiful Mayan ruins, and volcanoes. Despite such beauty and cultural diversity, Guatemala has long grappled with internal conflict and extreme social inequality. In Guatemala, the most vulnerable and impoverished populations are young, indigenous and rural. Guatemala has the fourth highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the world and the highest in Latin America and the Caribbean. Nearly half of children under 5 are chronically undernourished. (Source: World Food Programme, 2010)
HRI is focusing its work on rural communities located in the “dry corridor” of Guatemala. We are working to address high rates of child malnutrition in 6 villages through school-based and Pre-K supplemental feeding programs. In partnership with each community HRI is also working on long-term, environmentally conscious community development projects to improve health, food security, income generation, access to water and nutritious food.