Guest Author - Jackie OŽNeal
In July, Jesse Johnson, chairman of Haiti Kids Foundation, began a forty day biking journey of 4,000 miles to help raise money for Haiti's needy children.
His tour ended August 25th, after biking from Seattle to Miami, Florida.
His mission? To raise $1 million dollars for Haiti Kids Foundation and use 100% of the proceeds improving the quality of life for Haitian children.
After visiting Haiti last June, Johnson felt compelled to form his Foundation in the hopes of being able to help provide housing for many of Haiti's street children.
Considered the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, 80% of the population live in the most abject poverty and do not have access to clean water, or sanitary living conditions.
Among the population of over eight million, a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS is directly related to infant mortality and death rates.
It is estimated that Haiti has one of the highest death rates among children under five years of age.
In addition to the paucity of medical treatment and proper housing, Haiti has fallen victim to inflation, lack of investment and a severe trade deficit.
Many of the issues affecting children in Haiti are connected to poverty and shortage of housing, as well as medical care.
From reading Johnson's travel blog regarding his bike tour, it appears his trip to Haiti last year made a strong impact, in terms of his decision to be pro-active in his mission to offer assistance to Haitian children. After having witnessed first-hand the dire circumstances of Haitian children living and dying on the streets, Johnson hoped to help alleviate some of the serious problems assailing Haitian children today.
In the coming week, I plan to continue my dialouge with Johnson and bring him as a guest on "Giving Hearts Live" on Internet Voices Radio. Our scheduled interview on August 25th was cancelled due to a damaged telephone cable which disabled the radio station in Ann Arbor, Michigan. As a result, we hope to re-schedule.