Children of the Promise, HAITI

Monday, February 22, 2010

CBS local Miami news

Here is an article done about one of the boys and his family. Please pray!!

(direct link for video)

Unintended Consequences Hitting Haitian Children

MIAMI (CBS4) ―The challenge of adopting orphans from Haiti is growing more difficult after a group of Americans were arrested last week for trying to take children out of the country illegally. Joshua and Katy Manges believe they are paying the consequences for a crime they had nothing to do with.

The Manges family has been working to adopt a special needs child named Malachi for two and a half years now. "He was born in our hearts I mean from the moment we saw him he was ours," recalled Katy Manges.

Last week they received word that the Prime Minister of Haiti had signed the paper for Malachi's humanitarian parole. He would be flying into Miami on Friday. Friday came and went and Malachi never arrived. Leaving several families just like the Manges' heartbroken. They all received word that something went terribly wrong as the orphanage escort was bringing their children to the embassy for their final paperwork.

"A mob formed; a bunch of men got it in their head that the white escorts were stealing the black children and this was human trafficking so they started a big, almost a riot," said Joshua Manges. "Police were called in and detained all the escorts and children."

The families have learned those children were taken away from their orphanage escort and put in a tent city in earthquake ravaged Port au Prince. "In a UNICEF tent with no adults, no diapers, no supplies, very little food and the older children in this tent are actually taking care of them," said Katy Manges. "It's not safe. It's not right. They are legally free to come to us, and the Haitian Police have done this."

The orphans in question are from Cape Haitian, a Haitian city untouched by the earthquake. Now, all of them are living in the heart of ground zero (Port-Au-Prince), dealing with a tragedy they likely knew nothing about.

The kids were supposed to be on the same flight together and now all of their American parents are holed up in Miami turning to each other for support and hoping/praying their children will still be allowed to fly to the U.S.

"You know you were afraid of human trafficking, so you kidnap children to make that better," said Joshua Manges. "That doesn't make the situation better; that makes it worse. And you know these children have families that are waiting for them and love them and in our case need medical care."

Malachi has deformities in his hips. He's taught himself to walk but that could end up damaging him if he doesn't get medical attention soon. Doctors waiting on him here in the U.S. fear if he keeps walking; he could lose his ability to walk for good.


denie heppner said...

i am wondering if a class action suit against UNICEF might be in order here?

Confessions of a Social Justice Addict said...

I am thinking not in a million years and why? They have enough to deal with already given the magnitude of the disaster that they are dealing with right now and the so limited resources that they have to do their work efficiently. Its not an easy task and I am sure not any one of us can fathom or even begin to think of how to effectively and efficiently pull it off. The last thing they need as a distraction and a fund depleter, is a lawsuit.

Jarod said...

An eye witness to UNICEF's activities in Port-au-Prince here. 1) Check UN relief reports for funds going to Haiti, and you will see that they have a lot (not to mention the fact that they have been raising a ton since this disaster specifically for Haiti relief. UNICEF refuses to use them efficiently and refuses to partner with USAID approved and Haitian approved NGO's functioning in the childcare realm in Haiti to find better situations for these kids. 2) The orphanage that houses these children has a signed and stamped court order relinquishing rights to care for and make decisions for the children currently in UNICEF's care to said orphanage. UNICEF holding the children ignores this document, the Haitian courts, and the legitimacy of the organization that is recognized as a legal entity in both Haiti (by social services and the courts) and in the US (as a legal non-profit) and imposes itself as a superior childcare provider (which we can all see by looking at the photos, right). They have done this on a number of occasions, and it has lead to everything from the neglect that we see in this situation to children with families being intercepted and displaced. 3) Port-au-Prince has ample supply lines for bottles, formula, cots, mosquito netting, and the like, at this point. I supplied Port for weeks after the quake with all of these kinds of supplies and more, and made two personal trips to Port to confirm when supplies were arriving and we could halt our activities. On my last trip, about four weeks back, all missionaries I interviewed in all areas of Port, from clinical workers to orphanage workers, assured me that there was no more need for these kinds of shipments, but that we could switch gears to building materials and foodstuffs for refugees in the north. UNICEF has no excuse for holding children in the state in which they are holding these based on the availability of better care materials. That's my rationale for why UNICEF is at fault in this situation. Obviously they didn't cause the arrests.