Authorities permanently closed a Haitian orphanage on Friday due to children living in unsanitary conditions.
After accusations by a group of U.S. Christian organizations stating that Maccene Hypolitte, The Son of God orphanage director “of neglect, physical abuse and human trafficking,” Hypolitte was arrested in July on suspicion of involvement in child trafficking. Though he has been jailed “pending a judicial investigation” he has not yet been charged.
After investigations, Haitian officials sealed off the orphanage and the “46 children who lived there were loaded into a UNICEF bus and taken to new homes.”
Maria Andree Hypolite, the director’s wife, who has been running the orphanage with their daughter, since his incarceration, stated that “the poor conditions of the orphanage, including dirty mattresses on the floor, holes in the concrete walls and the smell of urine, were proof that the family was not involved in any criminal activity.”
Diem Pierre of the Institute of Welfare and Research stated that the children looked “as though they hadn’t eaten” and “looked malnourished.”
Seth Barnes, executive director of Adventures in Missions, based in Gainesville, Ga, stated that after a visit to the orphanage last year to “check on donations of clothes and other goods and to see if the children needed any help” they knew there was a problem.
Barnes stated “they found that donated clothes had gone missing and donated food disappeared from storerooms even as the children appeared to be going hungry.” He added that some children “simply vanished without any records or adequate explanation from the staff at the orphanage.”
The missionaries are relieved to see that the Haitian officials acted on their report and shut the orphanage down.
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