Local group helps Haitian project with birthing kits


Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with more than half of its population living below The World Bank’s poverty line. Political instability, natural disasters, and lack of infrastructure in recent years have proven to be overwhelmingly challenging for most Haitians. In addition, there are high rates of violence against women, a low rate of literacy among females (57%), and a great amount of food insecurity. Nearly half of the Haitian population is in need of immediate food assistance.
In 2019, Haitian community leaders, Fedner and Ritha Antoine, along with American Hannah Stucker, began a young women’s Bible Study and fellowship in Gressier, Haiti. Hannah is the daughter of Gary and Cindy (Huber) Stucker; Cindy grew up in Perryville, the daughter of the late Weldon and Shirley Huber.
From a Bible Study with five women, the ministry has grown to include twice weekly women’s Bible Studies, with 700 women enthusiastically attending each week. In addition, children’s Bible Studies, adult literacy classes, and English classes are offered each week.
The Bridge Haiti, as this faith- based ministry is called, also has monthly outreach events, mental health services, and emergency services to meet medical, nutritional, and family needs. They fund and deliver food within the community when shortages arise, if resources permit.

Recently, Hannah Stucker and Ritha Antoine visited the home of Peggie Sutterer in Perryville to meet with a group of approximately 15 ladies here who are supporting The Bridge Haiti ministry by monetary donations and by collecting items for assembling and shipping birthing kits to Gressier, Haiti. In Haiti, an expectant mother must have her own birthing supplies and infant items, whether she delivers her baby at a hospital or at home.
Hannah and Ritha explained the details of their ministries, answered many questions, and expressed sincere appreciation to the women from Perryville and Jackson who have devoted their time, energy, and financial resources to provide the birthing kits for those in Gressier. They shared encouraging stories of how women’s and families’ lives are being changed in Haiti by the services and Christian- based activities provided by The Bridge.
Each birthing kit contains, among other things, infant cloth diapers, newborn-size onesies and sleepers, receiving blankets, baby socks, and infant washcloths, as well as feminine hygiene items for the new mother. In addition to the group of Perryville women assembling and shipping birthing kits, groups from Jackson and Kansas City are also contributing to this mission.
If you would like to donate new or gently- used, clean newborn baby items or give financially to help with the costs of shipping the birthing kits, please contact Peggie Sutterer at 573-768-2575. To support The Bridge Haiti or learn more about its mission, please visit www.bridgehaiti.com.