Efforts to move 62 disabled Haitian children to Jamaica at standstill

By Kimone Witter   
An effort to temporarily transfer over 60 disabled Haitian children at an orphanage to safety in Jamaica, due to escalating gang violence reportedly remains deadlocked.
The head of Haiti's child welfare agency is opposed to the move and Prime Minister Ariel Henry has not responded to requests to intervene.
Located in the rural town of Arcahaie on Haiti's coast, HaitiChildren is in the midst of several heavily armed warring gangs.
Co-founder of the orphanage, Susie Krabacher, says in recent weeks, the gangs have cut off safe passage, kidnapped staff and invaded the facility, threatening to put the kids out of their misery.
According to the Miami Herald, HaitiChildren has been in discussions with local charity Mustard Seed Communities to care for the 62 children.
Darcy Tulloch Williams, Executive Director of the charity, confirmed the talks with Radio Jamaica News on Monday morning, stressing they have been preliminary.
Mrs Tulloch Williams said there are no plans on what will happen next, but Mustard Seed Communities is willing to assist.
The Miami Herald reported that Director of Haiti's Institute of Social Welfare and Research, Arielle Jeanty Villedrouin, said while she understands the orphanage's concern for the well-being of the children and the need to provide them with adequate medical care and protection, she cannot support the transfer of all 62 of its disabled children to another country.
Ms Villedrouin said it is inconceivable and legally inadmissible to transfer an orphanage from one country to another.
She said it is up to the Haitian State to determine the best approach to respond to this complex situation, taking into account the protection of children and respect for national and international laws.
Three children died in August
Three children from the HaitiChildren orphanage died last month as they were being rushed to a hospital to see a specialist about their uncontrollable seizures.
Susie Krabacher, cofounder of HaitiChildren, said the children died after gang members blocked the road and forced the vehicle to turn around.
She said it has been difficult to get a coroner to the orphanage to bring the bodies of the children to the morgue due to the blocked road.

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