Haitian kids live in an idyllic setting among crystal clear waters of the beaches, the rolling mountain ranges and the rugged river valleys. Haiti is located in the Caribbean on the western part of the island of Hispaniola, which it shares with the Dominican Republic.
But, their country’s story is less than idyllic. The number of Haitians living with HIV/AIDS remains high (though the situation is improving — by 2011, 58% of Haitians living with HIV were getting antiretroviral therapy, and the rate of new infections fell by 54%). In January 2010, a 7.0 earthquake killed 230,000 people and disrupted the lives of 1.5 million. Life for most children in Haiti was already difficult, but the earthquake changed everything. Poverty and hardship are at an all-time high, and the rebuilding process is slow.
Haitian kids wonder when they’ll ever feel safe. Nightmares about that day haunt them in their sleep. Hunger, uncertainty and worry haunt them every day. They wonder what they will eat. They wonder if mom and dad will have enough money for school fees next year. They wonder if things will ever get better.