ELLINWOOD – Star of Hope is participating in #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving, on Dec. 3. Last year, thousands of organizations in 150 countries came together to participate in #GivingTuesday.
This year Star of Hope needs your #GivingTuesday gift to help restore dignity to Haiti, said Mark Presson, CEO of Star of Hope USA and Tent Mission, based in Ellinwood.
Food relief in Haiti gives people nutrition, encouragement, and hope, he said.
The world food program reported recently that 3.7 million people in Haiti need help and that 1 million are in severe need of food assistance. That would be similar to the entire population of Oklahoma being hungry while everyone in Montana is starving.
Experiencing 100% increase in prices this year and tremendous social-economic unrest, Haiti’s food agricultural production is down and insecurity is up. Star of Hope has a huge budget deficit because of the increased pricing and price gouging. Food insecurity is gone up at least 20% in the last three months in the rural areas and in the capital Port-au-Prince. In the other large cities food is worse than scarce.
Star of Hope Manager Tony Bursiquiot, in Haiti, says, “The least that can be said is that the situation has not yet improved and the majority of Haitians continue to fight in large numbers on the streets demanding the president, Jovenel Moise, to resign from his position. The protests have turned violent several times in the last few months. This has resulted in burning buildings, blocked traffic, violent mobs and shortages of water, gas, food, and medical supplies.”
Star of Hope staff reports limited travel possibilities because of the protests and blocked roads. Today only half of our schools are running at full throttle. Most schools that are running normally are far in the countryside.
Presson said some of these reports from international organizations, such as the world food program and the European Union’s ECHO program, use words like “food insecure populations.”
“That’s fine verbiage for international bureaucratic updates but I would like to express to the working man and woman that the term ‘food-insecure populations’ means people are worse than hungry, they are starving; perhaps not at risk of death but still starving,” he said.
“The effect on Star of Hope is enormous. Only half of our 2200 children are attending school where they work to break the chains of poverty with education.”
Haitian Director Myrtha Dor, says simply, “...the kids are hungry and scared; it is the worst kind of situation because the children suffer the most. We need food help more than ever.”
Star of Hope is responding first and foremost by assisting the people in and around our projects with emergency food boxes. A “food kit” can sustain one family of four for about one month.
Star of Hope is accepting donations on its webpage, www.starofhope.us, and also by texting the word “foodkit” to 71777. Checks may be mailed to Star of Hope, P.O. Box 427, Ellinwood, KS 67526.