Mission Statement: “To provide humanitarian, spiritual, and medical aid to our Haitian neighbors.”
- Haiti is located in the western one-third of the island of Hispaniola, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, 590 miles southeast of Florida. The eastern two-third of the island is the Dominican Republic. In 1804, Haiti became the first black republic to declare its independence. This year marks Haiti’s bicentennial celebration. Unfortunately, Haiti has been plagued by political violence for most of its history. It is the poorest country in the western hemisphere with a short life expectancy and a high infant mortality and death rates.
According to the World Fact Book:
- Population: 7,656,166 (0-14 years: 42%; 15-64 years: 54%; > 65 years: 3.7%)Ethnicity: black 95%, mulatto and white 5%. Birth rate: 33.76 births/1,000 population (Rank: 47/225 countries). Mortality rate: 13.21 deaths/1,000 population (Rank: 42/225 countries). Infant mortality rate: 74.38/1000 live birth (Rank: 35/225 countries). Life expectancy: 51.78 years (Rank 191/225 countries), Literacy rate: total population: 52.9%
- 80% of the population lives in abject poverty. Haiti also suffers from rampant inflation (inflation rate: 37%; ranked 218/221 countries), a lack of investment, and a severe trade deficit. Extensive civil strife and political problems in early 2004, marked by the flight of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, further isolated and impoverished Haiti.
- It is estimated that NGO (non-governmental organizations) provide up to 70% of all medical care in Haiti. However, due to the complexity of congenital and acquired heart diseases, most of these groups have not addressed the medical and surgical needs of these children.