Life is usually very hard in Haiti. Things that we take for granted in this country–like enough food, adequate shelter, basic medical care–are recognized as precious gifts in Haiti. They are not taken for granted, because most people there don’t have them.
The lack of these basic necessities make it hard to stay alive and healthy in Haiti.
As bad as the absense of the these things make life it Haiti, Haiti’s troubles go, sadly, much deeper.
Haiti has the highest rate of violent in crime in the western hemisphere. It is estimated that 1/3 of the women in Haiti have been raped or violently sexually assaulted. Crimes against children, most notoriously sexual exploitation and slavery, are common. Foreign visitors, and others perceived as having money, are often kidnapped for ransom.
Haiti also has the highest murder rate in the western hemisphere.
All over Haiti there are pockets of resistance to evil, where folks are working courageously to reverse Haiti’s course. Once such place is Danita’s Children in Ouanaminthe. We have had the privilege to get to know the folks there, and we greatly admire what is being accomplished. We have come to know and love many of the wonderful adults and children there.
Dauphin was a teacher in the school there. A Haitian man helping to educate Haitian children and instill in them values and knowledge, to help them in the monumental task of overcoming the obstacles that Haitian life would throw at them. If I ever met Dauphin I don’t recall it. I did not know him. But I know and love the work he and his colleagues are doing in Ouanaminthe, and I love the kids he taught.
Recently some thugs barged into Dauphin’s home, dragged him out in the presence of his wife and children and began beating him, demanding money. They beat him to death.
This is sad in many ways. Another senseless violent death in Haiti. One more widow. More fatherless childen. One less good man in a country with too many evil men.
As others step into the gap created by the loss of this good man, may their work be blessed. May the day come when Haiti, and the rest of the world, is through with violence. In the meantime, let’s remember the many folks like Dauphin, who lived their lives working for that day, and didn’t live to see it happen.