Written by: Mark Wallace, Executive Director of Organizational Culture & International Partners
On a typical day, to catch the motorcycle taxi heading into Tabou, Shenaicka walks through Cite Soleil in Haiti, the place where she grew up. Cite Soleil is a huge city made up of 23 areas. There’s still ongoing construction from the earthquake last August and the people living here are experiencing extreme poverty.
Today is not a typical day. Shenaicka is not in Cite Soleil to catch her taxi. Due to gang violence, she had to flee Cite Soleil to get to safety. A little over a month ago, fresh violence erupted between gangs in Cite Soleil. In one weekend, between rival gang members and innocent by-standers, over fifty people were confirmed killed. Sadly, Shenaicka’s brother was one of them.
With roads closed and limited supplies coming in and out of Cite Soleil, Shenaicka fled by boat to get out of the besieged community. For all of us, and especially for our Haitian partners, it has been sad to see Haiti’s descent into violence over the past few years. Many, like Shenaicka, have their dreams on hold.
We met Shenaicka in 2010 when her grandmother applied for support from our Child Sponsorship Program. She excelled in school and had dreams of becoming a doctor. When Shenaicka’s grandmother passed away in 2017, she started living with her aunt and almost gave up on her dreams. In 2018, however, thanks to her sponsorship funding, Shenaicka decided to save up and pursue nursing training.
Shenaicka’s journey continues to be a difficult one. We are all grieving and praying with her for the day that she can safely return to her community. In the meantime, sponsorship support continues to help her meet her day-to-day needs.