After a nearly 3-month delay because of fuel scarcity and insecurity, schools are opening again in Haiti. Back in early September, one of the most powerful leaders in Haiti blocked the country’s largest fuel reserve, and this caused a massive fuel shortage that crippled the country. Moto-taxis, the primary means of transportation for many people, weren’t able to get gas to operate. Trucks had to pay exorbitant amounts for fuel to transport supplies to vendors, so everything became more expensive. Meanwhile, banks and hospitals were operating at limited capacity because they didn’t have fuel for their generators. In response, people took to the streets in protest all over Haiti.
These conditions made it impossible for schools to operate, but now that the fuel blockade has been lifted, schools are reopening. Once again students are walking the streets in school uniforms, and schools are filled with energetic, lively kids.
That is not to say that the current crisis in Haiti has been resolved. The gang violence in Port-au-Prince continues to rage on, and the high cost of living remains. There is still much work to be done, but the start of the school year brings a ray of hope.
After months in limbo, school started rather abruptly, so our staff at Thrive Ansanm has been scrambling to make all of the tuition payments and purchase books and uniforms for the kids. This has been extra challenging because banks are still operating at limited capacity, and it is difficult to get cash, but we are managing. The children are the heartbeat of Haiti, and we are thrilled to be supporting them as they go back to school.