Journey with others in their grief
April 10, 2024
Bishop: Daily living must align with message of the Resurrection
April 10, 2024

Mustard Seed offers lifeline to Haiti’s disabled children


A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between Mustard Seed Communities (MSC) Jamaica and HaitiChildren to provide accommodation for 59 severely disabled orphans, as well as 13 caregivers, from Haiti, the non-profit organisation announced March 21.

Fr Garvin Augustine

A Jamaica Observer article said the group from Haiti was expected to arrive in Jamaica that day. They are being housed at the newly built Ephesus Village, Jacob’s Ladder, Moneague, according to an MSC release. It noted that the arrangement is initially for two years, and funding will be provided by HaitiChildren’s various established donors.

“Fr Garvin Augustine, Executive Director of Mustard Seed Communities International, said following a series of meetings with government agencies, MSC was granted permission for the children to enter Jamaica legally and to get the necessary care in a safe environment,” the online news source reported.

Founder and CEO of the non-profit HaitiChildren, Susie Krabecher approached the leaders of MSC in the wake of the ongoing gang warfare in Haiti. She noted that because of their disabilities, the children faced mounting challenges primarily because of the escalating violence there.

“These children, who had been living under the care of HaitiChildren, were forced to leave the organisation’s facility when growing unrest made it unsafe for them to continue living there. This resulted in the children being left without access to vital supplies and urgent medical attention,” she said.

According to Krabecher, transporting the children from Haiti to Jamaica posed significant challenges especially for the individuals who have complex needs.

Fr Augustine said the collaboration offered “a lifeline” to the children from Haiti.

“The arrival of these children in Jamaica is a testament to our dedication to never turning our backs on those in need. We recognise the profound responsibility we have taken on and promise to provide them with the care and support they deserve,” he said.

Mustard Seed Communities, which was established as a non-profit 46 years ago by Trinidad-born Msgr Gregory Ramkissoon, operates 12 homes throughout the island and cares for over 450 abandoned and severely disabled children, those impacted by HIV, as well as pregnant teens. It also has homes in four other countries across the globe.

Editor’s Note: Fr Garvin Augustine is the brother of Fr Gregory Augustine CSSp.