Woman hoping to come to Rochester amid turmoil in Haiti
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — For years now, Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter and his family have traveled to Haiti to work as missionaries near the capital city of Port-Au-Prince. Monday he introduced News10NBC to a young Haitian woman his family has known for years.
She talked to News10NBC about her current daily struggles while her country continues to be mired in turmoil. We were able to hear her story as long as we didn’t identify her by name, say exactly where she lives on the island, or what she even does for a living. Local gangs have been known to kill people at will.
As missionaries, the Baxter family worked at two different orphanages in Haiti. Over the years they’ve sponsored one young woman who is now in her 20s. The Baxters are worried about her safety as they work hard to help bring her to America.
News10NBC talked to her to find out what life is like today. She first told us most businesses are closed.
"Yes, because there is a strike. People don’t go out because there is no gas," said the young woman.
Since the president of the country was recently assassinated, Haitians have been without any real government in place. Local gangs have taken over, and crime has been rampant. The woman the Baxters are helping was just robbed herself recently.
"Thanks to God I am fine, but I was so scared. This man was, he was threatening me like, ‘If you don’t give me everything you have I will kill you.’ I was so scared, but thanks to God I just have a few dollars on me. I gave it to him," said the young woman.
News10NBC asked her if she feared that these local gangs could come into, and terrorize her neighborhood.
"Some nights we hear like gunshots. We’re scared, but like during the day. We don’t hear gunshots," said the young woman.
Like so many others, she fears for her safety so she doesn’t leave her home. She told us what keeps her busy.
"I learn like English. I learn stuff. I read, I cook, I clean," she said.
Baxter says what’s currently happening in Haiti is nothing new. The country needs help.
"We’re asking people to pray. We’re asking people to you know petition our government to help stabilize, and also you know work with your local non-profits that are supporting these folks in Haiti that are really stuck in hell," Baxter said.
He went on to say if and when the young woman is granted the opportunity to enter the United States, and move to our area, she will study at Monroe Community College. She’s already been accepted.