MSC Welcomes 59 Children from Haiti

59 Children from Haiti Safely Arrive in Jamaica, Under a Historic Agreement Between Mustard Seed Communities and HaitiChildren

Moneague, Jamaica, March 21, 2024 — Mustard Seed Communities (MSC) and HaitiChildren have realized a significant humanitarian milestone, ensuring sanctuary for 59 children with disabilities and their 13 caregivers from Haiti. After months of meticulous planning and a confidential operation to safely extract the children from escalating violence, today, we joyously announce the safe arrival of these children in Jamaica.

After an intense operation carried out by the Sentinel Foundation and the Tim Tebow Foundation, the children and their caregivers arrived in Jamaica after sunrise on March 21. Mustard Seed Communities’ staff and leadership were waiting at the port to warmly welcome them into the newly-constructed Ephesus Village at MSC’s Jacob’s Ladder in Moneague. This transformative two-year housing arrangement symbolizes a fresh start for these children and their caregivers.

Hope finds a new home. The moment 59 children from Haiti arrived safely at Port Antonio, Jamaica after a 36-hour ocean journey.

A scene of both relief and hope unfolded when the children arrived safely at Ephesus Village in Jacob’s Ladder, marking the culmination of a journey filled with challenges and uncertainty. After spending several days in their new home, laughter filled the air as the children played outside and savored their meals.

Darcy Tulloch-Williams, executive director of Mustard Seed Communities Jamaica, expressed relief at the culmination of the delicate operation, stating, “This collaboration signifies a lifeline for these children from Haiti. From building new homes for the children, to ensuring they are equipped with the resources they need to thrive, to proactively creating a sense of belonging for children who have experienced civil unrest… so much planning has gone into this operation. We are honored to play a part in providing them with the care and support they rightfully deserve.”

Under the astute leadership of Father Garvin Augustine, the international director of Mustard Seed Communities, extensive discussions with government agencies have ensured the legal entry of these children into Jamaica, guaranteeing them access to the vital care and safety they urgently require.

Susie Krabacher, founder and CEO of HaitiChildren, initiated this collaboration in response to the dire circumstances faced by these vulnerable children amidst escalating violence and unrest in Haiti. 

Msgr. Gregory Ramkissoon, founder of Mustard Seed Communities, welcomes each child from Haiti as they enter Jamaican customs.

Monsignor Gregory Ramkissoon, founder of Mustard Seed Communities, emphasized the profound responsibility they have undertaken. “At Mustard Seed Communities, we have made a commitment that ‘no child is abandoned twice.’ When I heard of the challenges facing the children in Haiti, we promised that we would do everything we could to provide them with a loving home at Mustard Seed Communities.”

Jacob’s Ladder staff welcomes a resident from Haiti.

Upon arrival, the children and their caregivers were swiftly attended to by medical professionals, conducting thorough assessments and providing much-needed nourishment. This immediate response underscored the commitment to their well-being and signaled the beginning of their integration into their new home.

This mission of mercy, undertaken almost a year ago, has finally come to fruition, thanks to the unwavering dedication of all involved. The safe arrival of these children in Jamaica is a testament to the power of collaboration and compassion, offering hope for a brighter future.

Left: A caregiver gently guides a Haiti child in a wheelchair, hand in hand, as they explore the grounds of Jacob’s Ladder. Right: A caregiver extends comfort and sustenance to a new arrival after a lengthy journey, embodying the compassionate care at Ephesus Village.

Mustard Seed Communities, an international Catholic nonprofit founded 46 years ago by Monsignor Gregory Ramkissoon, cares for over 600 individuals with disabilities, children affected by HIV, as well as teen moms in crisis. With homes across Jamaica and internationally, Mustard Seed Communities continues to uphold its legacy of compassion and care for the most vulnerable. 

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