A difficult two years
In the past 24 months since the earthquake, times have been difficult for the people of Haiti. The country has been struck by a deadly cholera outbreak, shattered by hurricane Tomas, and rocked by political instability during complicated presidential elections.
However, thanks to our supporters, we have not only been able to run an Emergency Relief Programme to support local communities and provide new homes to hundreds of unaccompanied children, but we have also been able to start investing in new long-term projects to contribute to Haiti’s recovery.
Two new SOS Villages to provide homes for children orphaned by the quake
We plan to build two new SOS Children’s Villages to provide homes and families to those children who sadly lost their parents in the earthquake, and who have no other biological families to care for them. Whilst we have successfully managed to reunite more than 150 children in the past two years, many children in Haiti still face an uncertain future.
The first Village will be located in Les Cayes – Haiti’s third-largest city in the south of the country – which will give a home to 135 orphaned and abandoned children. Many families living in Les Cayes were affected by the earthquake and the community lacks key education and health facilities. Therefore, as well as building a new SOS Children’s Village, we will also begin an SOS Family Strengthening Programme, which will support families and communities with healthcare and social support. In addition, we will construct a new school to provide a free education to over 700 children.
The second new SOS Village will be based in Croix-de-Bouquets, on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, and will have the capacity to care for approximately 140 orphaned children. This Village will accommodate some of the 100 children who are currently still cared for by SOS Children in temporary accommodation in Port-au-Prince.
Construction for both Villages is planned for 2012/2013 and will bring the total number of SOS Children's Villages in Haiti to four.
Investing in education
As part of our long-term reconstruction work after the earthquake, we have decided to focus on education in order to be able to provide sustainable contributions to the children of Haiti.
Following the earthquake there was widespread school collapse; the Ministry of Education was destroyed; many school records were lost and more than 1,300 teachers died.
It is estimated that three million children are without any form of education in Haiti. Unlike some other countries, Haiti does not have a universal public education system that is funded by the government. Instead, it has a loose network of mostly for-profit private schools where tuition is about $135 a year – a significant expense for many families
We therefore plan to refurbish four new state schools across Haiti. At our SOS Children’s Village in Santo, just outside Port-au-Prince, the temporary tent school has been transformed into brand new shelters (pictured above left), which now provide ample space for eight classrooms in addition to the existing school building. An extra 500 children now have access to a free education, and we are building another school to give even more young people the opportunity for a better start in life. This year, the SOS School was attended by 1,190 children. We believe that improving access to free and good education are necessary first steps towards rebuilding Haiti.
Watch a video about our work towards the reconstruction of Haiti:
SOS Children's Village Haiti
SOS Children has been working in Haiti since 1979. Before the earthquake, more than 4,000 children were supported in our two Villages in Port-au-Prince and Cap Haïtien. However, since the quake, our services have multiplied. In Port-au-Prince alone, 300 unaccompanied children were taken into SOS families and over 150 children have now been returned to their families, who now receive continued support through our SOS Family Strengthening Programmes. SOS Community and Social Centres have been also been expanded, and the SOS School in Santo has doubled its capacity.
How you can help
Every day we help children whose lives have been damaged by natural disasters, conflict, poverty, or disease. Please consider making a one-off or regular donation. You will be part of helping children grow up with the security, love, and respect that they need. Thank you.
Haiti: two years on
SOS Children, in partnership with other NGOs, are calling on the international community to prioritise the needs of children and families in Haiti.
An interview shares some insights about challenges NGOs such as SOS Children are faced with in Haiti
Find out about our plans to build a new SOS Village in the south of Haiti.
Children in Haiti are particularly vulnerable to violation of their rights. Read how SOS Children are tackling the problem.
Read how Elie's earthquake-damaged school is being refurbished by SOS Children to ensure that he and many others can continue going to school.