Ten missionaries were arrested for performing an act they thought came from the heart.
According to the New York Times, ten Americans were detained after being charged with child abduction as a result of taking children out of Haiti without the governments consent.
The Americans are Baptist missionaries who intended to rescue Haitian orphans and take them to an orphanage located in the Dominican Republic.
The missionaries acknowledged failing to seek approval to relocate the children out of their home.
As a result the Americans could face prison terms of up to 15 years if found guilty of child abduction and criminal association. A Haitian judge recommended that the Americans be released, however prosecutors are not obligated to take the recommendation into consideration.
The American missionaries should be freed and allowed to continue the mission they set out to do in Haiti. In an environment where everything surrounding you screams of death and despair, all offers to lend a helping hand should be accepted.
Pride to often comes into play when matters of grave importance rise from the ashes. Or, maybe pride is not the stem of the conflict at hand.
“Haiti’s decision to prosecute the Baptist missionaries may be motivated, in part, by the need to show its own people that and the world it is a viable entity that is tackling the grave problem of international
child abductions in Haiti,” said Christopher J. Schmidt, a lawyer with Bryan Cave L.L.P. in St. Louis, MO as stated in the New York Times.
True, the way the Americans went about it was a bit tasteless, but should they be penalized for their valiant efforts? It has been made known that a majority of the children were not actually orphans but, had parents and or living relatives within Haiti.
The idea of giving your child away for a better life has existed in Haiti long before the current earthquake crisis. When the missionaries presented themselves to parents of the children, they quickly seized the opportunity to give their child a better life according to a Vancouver Sun article.
The conditions that exist within Haiti make it hard for a child to survive adulthood if they can afford that responsibility.
When life gets rough, many of us try to have a “plan B” to ensure that we do not fall completely to our knees. In Haiti back-up plans do not exist. Luxuries such as clean water and food are scarce.
So, to ensure your child’s livelihood, you give them away to lessen the burden. Sometimes children do not always end up with loving adoptive parents.
Some are sold off into slavery, prostitution or end up in the street to fend for themselves. Children that are sick go to hospital. Children who have parents that cannot afford their medical bills are abandoned and left to die in shacks.
In the reality we live in, nothing is ever what it seems to be. Sometimes, what is perceived as honest help can be a guise.