The Christian Science Monitor today includes further analysis of the efforts of ten Americans from an Idaho-based charity to bring 33 Haitian children out of the country. The group was stopped at the border and arrested for seeking to remove the children without government approval.
As quoted in the Monitor article, the group’s goal was to “rescue Haitian orphans abandoned on the streets, makeshift hospitals or from collapsed orphanages in Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas, and bring them to New Life Children’s Refuge in Cabarete, Dominican Republic.” This “Refuge” in the Dominican Republic, it appears was actually a temporary facility being operated out of a hotel, and the group planned to construct an orphanage and other facilities over time.
It is always important to avoid over-quick judgment as a story filters out piecemeal via media reports. However, the emerging details seem to indicate a serious case of individuals charging in to do good with the best of intentions—yet lacking informed guidance and discernment regarding the best and wisest way to approach the situation. It is no small tragedy that a single story like this one can become exhibit number one against countless other far more informed efforts to aid orphans, from volunteer-led service projects to international adoption.
Even so–and despite the very real harm their well-intentioned actions may cause over time–the American group, now incarcerated in Haiti, deserves our prayers that good will yet come to them and for orphans through it all.