Observing the immigration situation of more than 10,000 Haitian migrants at the Texas border is difficult for a local missionary group.
“They are doing their best with what they have,” said Haitian Pilgrims President Sue Ogle. “They are a wonderful, loving and hardworking people and I really love the people of Haiti.”
Ogle is president of the Lewisville Haitian Pilgrims Missionary Group. It was founded by some members of St. Philip the Apostle Parish in Lewisville in 1999.
Ogle has been traveling for work in Haiti for 20 years.
âIn fact, I lived in Haiti and taught in a school that we built there in 2014, period 2015,â Ogle said.
Ogle saw the struggles in Haiti with his own eyes.
âThe situation is extremely desperate,â Ogle said. “Over the years, the economy has declined at a rate of about 2% per year.”
Ogle added: “People are on their feet and the children get up very early in the morning to go to the wells to get water to take away so the family can have water to cook for a day and clean themselves for a while. a day.”
Ogle said even some organizations trying to help can cause problems.
âUnfortunately, some very large nonprofits send a significant amount of food up for sale, which undermines farmers who cannot sell at the price the larger organization can sell,â Ogle said.
Ogle and Haitian pilgrims strive to improve life in Haiti, especially in rural areas. They have built schools and teach agricultural programs among their other initiatives including health, clean water and leadership.
Ogle said the situation on the Texas border is just a glimpse of the desperate situation in Haiti and what is fueling their migration.
âDesperation gives them strength,â Ogle said. “They don’t have opportunities in Haiti and of course we are the land of opportunities.”
Haitian pilgrims will continue to share this opportunity to try to make things better in Haiti.
To learn more about the mission of Haitian pilgrims and ways to donate, click here.