Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Haiti's Children

2004 Statistics:

Total population: 8,528,000

Life expectancy at birth m/f (years): 53.0/56.0

Healthy life expectancy at birth m/f (years, 2002): 43.5/44.1

Child mortality m/f (per 1000): 122/118

Adult mortality m/f (per 1000): 417/358

(World Health Org. Statistics)

One day, traveling through our village, I was struck by the realization that most of the Haitians I see are young. Very young - at first glance, you would think that rural Haiti is made up entirely of children. I quickly realized why this is the case: Out-of-control birth rates followed up by one of the worst life expectancy rates in the world. There simply aren't enough adults surviving to look after the children this society is producing.

Even when child mortality rates are so high (205 deaths by the age of 5 for every 1000 children []), the children still outnumber the adults who could guide and teach and protect them.

Each of these children pictured here were on the street or in the village all alone. No adult supervision. No watchful eye. No protective hand.

Mark 10:14 - When Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them,
"Permit the children to come to me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these"

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