After 4 long years Raphelle, a little boy in our Abandoned Baby Unit (ABU) in Haiti is finally coming to live with us at the Mercy House Orphanage. The government of Haiti has issued a certificate of abandonment for him as well as baby Jennifer, tiny Enoch and Reynald.
Mercy and Sharing’s ABU is a very sad place. Upon entering the room, the pain and suffering of the abandoned children permeates your very soul. This 30x15 box of a room, located near the morgue in the National Hospital in Port-au-Prince is “home” to many of these children for years on end.
In almost every case, the children do not have names, birth certificates or a past that is known to us. Most of these children, often left for dead on the hospital steps, are severely handicapped or victims of neglect and abuse, like little MacKenzen who survived his father’s brutal slash to the head with a machete. Some were formerly “restaveks” or children in servitude to a master. And there is always the issue of kidnappings. Even from the ABU itself the child sex trade and traffic in body parts is alive and well. Because this is a government owned facility, we have not yet been given permission to place security guards in the unit to prevent this from happening.
Mercy & Sharing provides these children with three meals a day, clothing, clean water, a doctor visit five times a week, and someone to hold them. Our supplies, food, clothing, medicine and even the children’s records are frequently stolen. Mercy & Sharing is not allowed to place trained staff in the room and we’re required to hire only employees chosen by the hospital administration.
On January 9th 2009 we were invited by the Minister of Health to discuss the frequent disappearance of these children. For the first time in 15 years of caring for these abandoned children we have hope that we will be allowed to replace the corrupt staff assigned to us and place security around the unit to protect the children and our supplies. The new Minister of Health, Dr. Alex Lawsen who took office November of 2008 and his Chief of staff Ariel Henry, have shown great concern about each of these issues. For the first time in over a decade these children may get the care they need. Mercy & Sharing is standing by to implement every action proposed to these honorable men on January 9th.
If these little heroes live to see Mercy House Orphanage, there is a wonderful celebration awaiting them. Pray for us please – we need you not to forget them!