Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I Can't Let It Go

I'm still enraged over the orphan situation in Haiti.  People who have never been there nor had any involvement whatsoever prior to the earthquake are now experts on the problem.  I've heard people explain about having patience with the paperwork for adopting and people complain about trying to convert children to Protestant Christianity.  What none of these individuals realize is that:  1) paperwork in Haiti is a joke (adoption or otherwise).  Those who submit appropriate paperwork are turned away because there is a typo, or the wrong form was used, or a law has changed, etc.  And the process starts alll over.  2) Haiti is a Christian nation - 90% of the citizens profess to be Christians.  While it is officially Roman Catholic, as a (Catholic) missionary friend said to me, "The great thing about Haiti is that we're all Christians here," meaning Catholics and Protestants work side by side to love and care for the people of Haiti.  What seems to be lost in these legalistic discussions is that children are DYING.  Yes, care needs to be taken that human traffickers are apprehended, but that problem seems to have been ignored in the past.  And now, well-intentioned folks are being attacked.

Here I'm linking to three other bloggers who have a lot to say on the topic:

My husband who discusses the REAL trafficking problem;

Kristen at Rage against the Minivan questions UNICEF's agenda;

Here I have to quote Tara at The Livesay [Haiti] Weblog:

Haiti is an incredibly difficult place. It was before the earthquake. Now it is difficult times ten. UNICEF would like you to believe that there are lots of "safe spaces" (whatever the heck that is) where they can put children. They want you to think that there is a great risk GREAT RISK of children being used for sex slaves and domestic servitude in the USA and other countries ... they want you to believe that Haiti is the safest place for them to be protected.
We have only been here four years plus a year of going back and forth a ton. BUT in these years I can tell you that we have seen horrific abuse of children. Neglect, sexual abuse, restaveks ---- it is rampant. Sexual crime is NOT a crime in Haiti.
For example A 30 year old man can have sex with a 8 year old girl here and there is no legal process for pressing charges. It is culturally acceptable. Working with women I can tell you that they do not control their own bodies. The men call the shots. In my neighborhood there are restaveks working at 5am sweeping the fricking street for the people they live with. There is no way in hell Unicef or any other yahoo that has not lived in this culture and seen it with their own eyes will EVER EVER EVER convince me that Haiti is a safer place for an orphan. Never. Also, sitting somewhere else and reading news stories that the media produces is not a good way to decide that UNICEF is good and on the up and up. The media has something to gain from making stories more dramatic. Unicef has something to gain by keeping orphans as orphans. No Orphans equals no Unicef afterall.
I challenge any of the critics to go to Haiti and experience it for themselves.  It's easy to pontificate from an armchair.

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