Poverty: Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and maybe in the world. The country is overflowing with about 10.7 million poverty stricken people. 25% of its population lives on less than US$1.25 per day, and approximately 59% live on less than US$2 per day. About 20% of the children under age 5 are under nourished. 6% of the children die before their first birthday. 10% of the children die before age 5. 1 in 285 births will result in the birth mother's death.The unemployment rate stands at 40% and 2/3 do not have formal jobs. 80% of the country lives below the poverty line.
Religion: In the area of religious affiliation 80% are Roman Catholics, 16%, are Protestants, and the other 4% fall into various categories. It should be noted that roughly half of the population practices voodoo. That means that many of those who profess to be Christians probably are not and presents a serious challenge for the gospel message.
Youth: The country has a very young population with 35% being under the age of 14, 22 % being between the ages of 15-24, and 13 % between the ages of 25-30. That means 70% of the population is below thirty years of age. When an organization is doing ministry in Haiti it is obvious that the young age factor must be taken into consideration when attempting to meet the spiritual and physical needs of the people. It is reported that 90% of the children are enrolled in school BUT 50% of the children do not attend school. 30% will drop out of school by third grade and 60% before sixth grade. Only 29% of those over age 25 have attended secondary school (7-12 grades). Private and church schools provide 75% of the education programs offered in Haiti. The literacy rate in Haiti for all age groups is 61.1% while the basic Caribbean literacy rate is over 90%.
Population: Haiti is a very beautiful in certain sections of the country and very distressed in other areas including the major urban areas. Fifty per cent of the population lives in urban areas and the remaining population lives in rural areas and subsists mainly on farming. Haiti still struggles in recovering from natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes.
The church in Haiti acts as the spiritual, social and educational arm of the Christian body. The church provides the children with an education and often provides the necessities of life such as food and clothing to children and adults. Planting churches in Haiti requires more than just preaching the gospel; it also deeply involves Jesus’ command to love our brothers as we love our self and demonstrate it in our actions. And since the official languages of Haiti are French & Creole this creates additional challenges to Americans ministering in Haiti.
Caribbean Vision Ministries is working with churches & organizations in the US to assist in ongoing physical and spiritual ministries in Haiti. Only Jesus can change the nation and turn spiritual darkness into spiritual light and only Jesus can bring order out of the chaos and poverty in Haiti. Through the churches, orphanage, medical ministries, and bible institutes began and operated by Caribbean Vision Ministries many are being cared for in Haiti both spiritually and physically. We invite you to join with us and our Haitian Team in Haiti to continue God’s work among these very needy people. Your involvement in projects and GO2Haiti Teams will produce eternal changes in the lives of many Haitians and in your own life as well.