Faith and Concern Inc.'s annual Walk for Haiti (copy)

Sister Nancy Rowan speaks to participants during the annual Walk For Haiti event organized by Faith and Concern, Inc at the Peter Torigian Senior Center in Peabody in 2021.

PEABODY — Faith and Concern Inc. will hold its 48th consecutive Walk for Haiti next week on Good Friday.

The walk, which begins at 9 a.m. on the outdoor track next to the Torigian Senior Center on April 7, raises awareness and support for the nonprofit organization for its work to provide concrete assistance primarily to children in Haiti.

Faith and Concern, in an announcement, said that while the disruption to life of the past three years for Americans at home has been great, the pandemic has been much worse for the people of Haiti, who already live in the poorest country in the western hemisphere.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 80% of Haitians were living below the poverty level and only 50% of the children were able to attend elementary school, they said — and those conditions have only worsened.

Faith and Concern said there is widespread poverty and political instability throughout the entire country; the capital, Port-au-Prince, has become very dangerous, where even students are being killed by street gangs.

“We fear for those who must go into the city regularly to obtain money from the bank to provide necessities for those in the back country,” the group said.

In the fall, Haiti was in lock-down for several weeks. Schools once again were shuttered and banks, businesses and grocery stores were closed, the group said. Much of the water in the cities was contaminated and unsafe to drink, yet people were unable to purchase clean water because gangs blocked the roads preventing truckers from entering the cities and towns, thereby cutting off delivery of necessary food and precious water.

Faith and Concern says it supports as many children and their families as contributions allow, focusing on providing education — a main way to break the cycle of poverty — and a breakfast program for about 250 schoolchildren each day.

For more details or to sponsor a walker, contact Gail Bowlds at 978-535-1431 or Edith Burns at 781-598-1838. Donations can be sent to Faith and Concern, Inc., G Wildwood Drive, Peabody, MA 01960.

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