My 12-year-old daughter wrote this essay. I wanted to share it with you:
Did you know Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere? And one of the poorest countries in the world? Well, most people don’t. When you think of a regular life, you would probably think of a regular house, your own room, going to school every day, eating when you’re hungry, and begging your parents for the newest things out. But the kids in Haiti don’t have a fraction of that.
Almost 80% of the rural population lives in poverty, which means that they have no home, no food, barely anything. Most people don’t even have the basic things that we can just walk down the street and get from Seven-Eleven.
The average annual income is $450, which roughly translates to about $1.23 to live on every day. Food prices in Haiti are just as high as here in the U.S. and even higher for meat. Can you imagine feeding yourself and your family on $1.23 per day?
Many children are abandoned every day in Haiti. These and other children try desperately to survive. In Haiti, there is only one public school per 10,000 children. Out of those children only 2% go to public school. As for the other 98%, the Haitian government does not have the funds to educate them. At one school, for 900 students, there are only 10 teachers. To make it so those kids can go to school, they divide it into a night and day school. And for the kids who get to go to public school, there are no books or materials to learn with. There are private schools in Haiti, but parents do not have to money to pay tuition. How can you pay for tuition, books and school uniforms when you have to feed a family on $1.23 per day?
I go to Haiti with my mother and we work in the orphanage and try to help out. Some people ask, “Why should we help? It’s not our fault they live in poverty. Why is it our responsibility?”
It is our responsibility to help them. We are all human beings and we should help each other just for that reason alone. But there are other reasons.
Here’s an interesting fact. If it wasn’t for Haiti, the United States would not be the country it is today. Haitian slaves kept the French military so busy fighting for their freedom that all the French resources were tied up in Haiti. The French decided to take the easy road and sell land to the United States instead of fighting. In the history books, we know this sale as the “Louisiana Purchase”. The purchase was for all the land west of the Louisiana area.
Also, the Haitians had to pay for their freedom. Haiti had to pay France the equivalent of billions of dollars in today’s money in repayment for their freedom. Haiti never recovered from that unfair payment for its independence and freedom.
The people of Haiti need and deserve our help.