The SOS Children’s Village Cap-Haïtien, Haiti, has 260 children who came from families in extremely difficult situations. After the earthquake in the month of January, we admitted 42 new children who mostly came from Port-au-Prince, due to the earthquake that had virtually destroyed the capital. These new children, whose families were decimated, arrived to Cap-Haïtien. The distress was so big that people from Port-au-Prince fitted simply into the back of a bus that carried people from other provinces. Their first objective was to escape from the hell of concrete and dust resulting from the disaster. Thus they moved to places far from the capital without anyone to support them.
Three little girls were abandoned at the Justinian Hospital a few days after the earthquake. This hospital helps and sees injured people which are transported by a US Army helicopter. The Army provides assistance to the population because of the disaster. The three girls were taken in with the mother, who saw how her family increased up to 13 children. These children are happy to find an available SOS mother that gives them a minimum comfort until less difficult days. All mothers realized that there was a big necessity to open their doors for giving them a home; the children were traumatized due to the loss of what they love more: their parents.
The village of Cap-Haïtien cooperates with other social organizations (ISBR, Zanmi la Fammi, Affaires Sociales, UNICEF, etc.) in creating shelters and giving support to families who have ended up to Cap-Haïtien. We are requested on cases of children who need immediate support and we continue looking for children who do not have any family. Furthermore, it was observed that dishonest people were taking advantage of the chaos resulting from the disaster and that they were carrying out human trade. Children are the main victims of these people who are motivated by the money they could earn by selling orphans as for adoption or as for selling their organs. The Cap-Haïtien Village has taken part into the recovery of children that were taken in resulting from the earthquake. Some children were able to find a house, but their luck is not better than those who are on the streets; because they will be subjected to works similar to slavery.
Four months after the earthquake, the schools of the Northern Province tentatively resumed their activities in less chaotic circumstances. The courses at different schools were stopped due to panic among students, mainly due to rumours of a tsunami and a possible new earthquake. The communication of administrative decisions at state level is very confused; the population does not know what they would do if there was a disturbance. However, the recovery of school courses was facilitated at the schools in the Village of Cap because its buildings do not suffered a great damage, due to our remoteness from the epicentre of the earthquake (approximately 300 km) and also due to the solidity of the buildings.
The young people who live at the five communities, which are 46 youth, come from time to time to the Village because they want to visit their mothers or at least take a few moments with their family. There was some information about the correct behavior they needed to have in case of a catastrophe. As they go to schools that are in the city and that work irregularly, the Village administration recommends that the educators must encourage them to seize the opportunities to prepare for the exams that will take place at the end of the academic year.
Some of the former youth of the Village who lived in Port-au-Prince went back to the Village to ask for aid or to be hosted during some days because they lost everything in the cataclysm. One of them fractured her leg and we had to lodge her with an SOS mother. The former SOS child was able to resume her university courses at Port-au-Prince, which are taking place under tents. Nevertheless, hope begins to emerge again, despite the enormous difficulties.
There are 36 youth that have external support and they receive financial support from the Village. It is the moment to find a job or to live by their own. Probably, after the projects have been constantly made for the country reconstruction, young people will have great opportunities to find a job. Most of them are qualified because they should have a trade before the departure from the community. Now we need to think about supporting them due to the degree of deterioration of the country and it will take some time to ensure that the population could find a better quality of life after the disaster.
It is absolutely necessary to reorient our work in order to support a greater number of children because they might be at risk of people who want to take advantage of the poverty, which is not a phenomenon appeared after the earthquake of January the 12th, 2010. All employees of the village, especially SOS mothers, have understood this proposal and they sincerely contribute to welcome and lodge. These children require a family which helps them to build a future and to heal the wounds of their injury.
Once again, the management of the village, on behalf of all children, we would like to thank you for the interest you have always shown for their welfare. We hope that your support will be kept for this humanitarian effort to continue ensuring a future for children in this country hurt by many circumstances.
SOS Children’s Villages Haiti
This report may have been written by someone whose first language is not English. It has been left unedited, as this is how a sponsor would receive it.