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Latin Market to Help Those Affected by Forgotten Crisis


Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, is still recovering from the devastating 2010 earthquake. To add to these troubles, citizens of the region have been badly affected by civil unrest for the past year and a half and are now five weeks into the most recent and most violent outbreak.

Life is at a standstill in the country, food and petrol is scarce and people are going hungry. The banks are closed for days on end and so too are many essential services. The bodies are mounting up and the state hospitals and medical departments are closing more and more frequently. For those who have a job, just getting to work is a major challenge.

This is a somewhat forgotten crisis, but in the centre of this, putting at risk their own livelihoods and wellbeing, staff and volunteers of the international children’s charity, Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH) continue to strive to help Haitian children and families.

The Director of NPH New Zealand, Loren O’Sullivan, says it is not surprising that the Haitian people are suffering and taking to the streets to protest the worsening of their already terrible living conditions.

“Over the past year and a half the local currency has decreased in value by half, while living costs have increased by a quarter.”

The team at NPH Haiti run the only paediatric hospital in Haiti, operate a children’s home for vulnerable children, while also running schools in the slums to help educate the poorest of the poor. The children and families NPH serves have been badly affected by this recent crisis as they deal with security issues, lack of clean water and limited transport.

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Loren, however, is one New Zealander who is not prepared to sit by and do nothing. The charitable organisation she leads helps more than 6000 vulnerable children and families in nine countries across Latin America and the Caribbean.

Loren has joined forces with a group of committed volunteers in Auckland to host the NPH Latin American Market to raise funds for children and families in the embattled region.
“This is a forgotten crisis that I want to bring to the forefront so that the Haitian people know that we stand by them in their time of need. In New Zealand we forget what a privilege it is to live in a peaceful society with relatively high living standards. It’s important to do something to help.”

This is the 4th year that the NPH Latin American Market will bring a unique and colourful event to Auckland with something for everyone from Mexico to Chile.

“Come along to the NPH Latin American Market at the Mt Eden War Memorial Hall on Sunday November 3, 3-7pm. Experience the best of Latin American cuisine, crafts, music and dance. All profits will go directly to NPH Haiti to help families and children in need during this time of civil unrest.”
Entry to the market is free for children with a $5 koha requested for adult entry. All funds raised will go to NPH Haiti, to help those affected by the current crisis.

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