Eugene Cho

the haiti jump rope champion

One of the highlights of my time in Haiti was meeting many kids during our brief trip. There’s something about kids that are so very inspiring, uplifting, and even heartbreaking. We heard some painful stories about the suffering of kids – as a result of the earthquake but even before the quake – but one of the things that most encouraged me was the sense of “hope” I saw in the faces of the kids.

I had the joy of getting into a jump rope competition and yes, I should have let the kids win but being the competitive guy that I am, I sucked in the pain of my both of my Achilles tendons and was declared the Haiti jump rope champion. Check out the jump rope video below and sadly, the stark statistics impacting the current and future generations of Haiti.

Let’s do our small part to work a  more beautiful, just, kind, and compassionate world. Still doing some research about how we can participate in the “next steps” in helping Haitians rebuild their country.

Consider some of the these statistics impacting the children of Haiti:

  • Gross national income per capita is US$520, about half the total for Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the Americas
  • 78% of Haitians are poor (less than US$2 a day), and more than half (54%) live in extreme poverty (less than US$1 a day).
  • In rural areas, poverty and extreme poverty rates are estimated to be 84% and 69% respectively.
  • Over two-thirds of the labor force do not have formal jobs.
  • Half of children under 5 are malnourished.
  • Over 7% of children die at birth.
  • For every 100,000 births, 523 women died in Haiti, compared to eight maternal deaths for every 100,000 births in Europe.
  • 80 out of 1,000 Haitian children never see their first birthday.
  • 50% of primary school age children are not enrolled in school.
  • One-third of girls over six never go to school.
  • Approximately 30% of children attending primary school will not make it to third grade; 60% will abandon school before sixth grade.

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8 Responses

  1. Steve says:

    It is amazing how resilient children are. Your post is a timely reminder of the need to pray for Haiti and to continue to look for ways to help.

  2. Derek Sciba says:

    You have got some mad skills, Eugene. Even turning along with your jump rope partner. A good reminder of the people we’re trying to look out for in Haiti.

  3. danderson says:

    I’ve been down to Guatemala twice in the last four years. We took down jump ropes both times. It’s a great ice breaker and community building activity and a way to cross cultures.

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