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A New Hampshire nurse and her child have been kidnapped in Haiti

A girl walks through a ravine filled with garbage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on July 13.
Odelyn Joseph
/
AP
A girl walks through a ravine filled with garbage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on July 13.

A New Hampshire nurse and her child were kidnapped in Haiti late last week, according to the humanitarian organization El Roi Haiti.

Alix Dorsainvil works as a community health nurse for El Roi Haiti and is also married to the group's founder and director, Sandro Dorsainvil, who grew up in Port-au-Prince.

In a statement posted to its website on Saturday, El Roi Haiti said Alix and the couple's child were taken Thursday morning from the organization's campus near Port-au-Prince.

"Alix is a deeply compassionate and loving person who considers Haiti her home and the Haitian people her friends and family," the group said. "Alix has worked tirelessly as our school and community nurse to bring relief to those who are suffering as she loves and serves the people of Haiti in the name of Jesus."

El Roi Haiti is a Christian organization that operates a K-12 school for Haitian children and offers a variety of other programs, including adult education, vocational instruction and discipleship training.

Alix Dorsainvil is originally from New Hampshire, but had been living in Haiti and operating a children's clinic for El Roi Haiti, according to a promotional video on the organization's website.

"Haitians are such a resilient people. They're full of joy and life and love," she said in the video. "I'm so blessed to be able to know so many amazing Haitians."

El Roi Haiti said it was working with its "partners and trusted relationships" to get Alix and her child returned safely, and said it was "grateful for the outpouring of prayers, care, and support for our colleague."

A State Department spokesperson told NPR that the administration is aware of reports that two U.S. citizens had been kidnapped in Haiti.

"The U.S. Department of State and our embassies and consulates abroad have no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas," the spokesperson said.

The State Department is in regular contact with Haitian authorities, the spokesperson added, and is continuing to work with them and other U.S. government interagency partners.

Unrest in Haiti has worsened lately, with gangs controlling much of the country including the capital, Port-au-Prince.

The National Human Rights Defense Network said earlier this month that deadly violence and kidnappings have been surging in Haiti, with at least 75 people killed and 40 abducted between May and mid-July, the Associated Press reported.

In 2021, following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, kidnappers abducted a group of 17 missionaries on their way back from helping to build an orphanage. Five of the missionaries were later released, while 12 would eventually escape their captors.

On July 14, the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution asking the secretary-general to provide some possible options to "enhance the security situation" in Haiti, including a possible U.N. peacekeeping force.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.