Poverty in Haiti shocks church leader

PUBLISHED: 13:36 13 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:20 06 May 2010

John Draper in Haiti

John Draper in Haiti

A CHURCH leader from Comet country has seen first hand the poverty endured by residents of a tropical Caribbean island. John Draper, from Poplar Close, Hitchin, who is one of the leaders of Letchworth Garden City Church, has just returned from a trip to H

A CHURCH leader from Comet country has seen first hand the poverty endured by residents of a tropical Caribbean island.

John Draper, from Poplar Close, Hitchin, who is one of the leaders of Letchworth Garden City Church, has just returned from a trip to Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere.

Mr Draper, 51, travelled to the Caribbean with the child development charity Compassion, which his church supports.

While there, he met Thimothee, a Compassion-sponsored child who wants to become an electrician.

He also met former sponsored children who are now doctors, nurses, teachers, bankers and hoteliers.

But he said the poverty he witnessed shocked him.

"It is commonplace for children to live without access to clean water, with no sanitation and only scraps of food to eat.

"Many live with their families in tiny homes, the size of a garden shed.

"They are often in desperate need of repair, offering little protection when it rains and with their ill fitting and rotted corrugated iron roofs providing no respite from the intense heat.

"They share a mattress, or the floor, with their many siblings, alongside the stench of open sewage," he said.

"It does make me question what right I have to complain about anything, when such chronic child poverty exists in our global village."

Compassion links its three-quarters of a million individual donors in the developed world to a named child in one of 24 of the world's poorest countries, to sponsor their education, nutrition and health care.

For more information visit www.compassionuk.org

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