Jamaican News

Jamaica to Receive Orphans from Haiti for Care Amid Unrest

In response to the escalating turmoil in Haiti, the Jamaican government has announced plans to provide assistance by welcoming just under 50 orphaned children from its neighboring country. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, revealed these developments during a post-Cabinet press briefing held at Jamaica House on Wednesday.

The orphaned children, who have been particularly vulnerable to violence and unrest in Haiti, are slated to receive care from the local charity organization, Mustard Seed Communities. The Minister Johnson Smith emphasized that Mustard Seed Communities has been actively engaged in coordinating with an orphanage in Haiti and expressed readiness to take on the responsibility for the welfare of these children upon their arrival in Jamaica.

Highlighting the urgency of the situation, Minister Johnson Smith detailed the challenges faced by the orphanage in Haiti, citing instances where gangs had raided the facility, resulting in the theft of essential supplies such as food and medicine. Tragically, some children lost their lives while attempting to seek medical care amidst the chaos.

Crucially, the Minister clarified that Jamaica’s assistance is specifically targeted towards this defined group of orphans identified for care by Mustard Seed Communities. She emphasized that this initiative does not constitute an open invitation for all Haitian orphans or individuals claiming to be orphans to enter Jamaica.

The efforts to facilitate the care of these vulnerable children are being carried out through a private charity-to-charity arrangement. Mustard Seed Communities, which has been serving Jamaica’s most vulnerable groups since its establishment in 1978, has been at the forefront of these efforts.

The collaboration between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of National Security underscores the comprehensive approach being taken to address both legal and illegal movements of people. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, is expected to provide further details on these efforts in due course.

Mustard Seed Communities’ role in this humanitarian endeavor highlights the organization’s longstanding commitment to serving marginalized communities in Jamaica. Through their dedication and partnership with the Jamaican government, Mustard Seed Communities aims to provide a safe and nurturing environment for the orphaned children from Haiti who are in desperate need of care and protection.

As the situation in Haiti continues to evolve, Jamaica’s efforts to extend a helping hand to its neighbors underscore the spirit of solidarity and compassion that transcends borders.

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