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Haiti

The Children's Villages in Santo, near Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitien are home to children from Haiti who face some of the poorest conditions in the world. SOS Children's Villages has been working here since 1982 and has also provided aid during natural disasters occurring in Haiti … more about our charity work in Haiti

Haiti two years on: "This is still a children's crisis"

Haiti two years on: "This is still a children's crisis"

Two years after the unthinkable 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti, significant progress has been made in reconstructing the country. Even so, Haiti is still very much in a state of emergency and it is affecting children the most.

35% of the Haitian population is under the age of 15; half the population is under the age of 18. SOS Children has issued warnings that the number of abandoned children is rising steadily and is working alongside other NGOs to urge the Haitian government, the UN Security Council and other international bodies to improve the quality of care for, and the legal situation of, the thousands of abandoned Haitian children.

"Because of poverty and impossible living conditions, families in Haiti are no longer able to provide for themselves," explains SOS Children's Villages UK Chief Executive Andrew Cates, "The situation of so many abandoned children in Haiti is dire." "The crisis in Haiti is very much still a children's crisis. SOS is in the region doing what it can to support families and children, ensuring children have access to education and health care, providing needed social programmes to enable mothers to continue to care for their children."

SOS Children, which has been active in Haiti since 1978, has been concentrating its long-term reconstruction efforts in the region on supporting children without parental care, supporting families at a community level and supporting schools.

During the first twelve months following the earthquake, SOS Children provided tens of thousands of children with food every day, giving medical care where needed and providing shelter to unaccompanied children. Over the past year, SOS Children has begun the transition to constructing new schools and expanding long-term social programmes including:

    * Supporting families and children in the districts of Port-au-Prince, Cap Haïtien and Les Cayes. Our goal is to strengthen the resources of the communities in order to enable the families, particularly women, to support themselves.

    * Expanding the construction of schools: SOS Children is financing the construction of a community school and four public schools in Santo and the area of Les Cayes. SOS Children is also providing teacher training.

    * SOS Children have announced a new child protection programme designed to reduce the number of Haitian children abandoned or separated from their families, and to improve the security and protection of children separated from their caregivers.

"With over half the population of Haiti under the age of 18, the reconstruction of Haiti continues to be a complex undertaking and we know from our work on the ground, Haitians are grateful to the British public who have contributed to the process." says Andrew Cates. "SOS has been in the region for 34 years. We're here for the long haul."

SOS Children's Villages provides children in need with a caring, loving, and secure family environment where basic needs for food, health, shelter, and education are met. SOS Children's Villages creates opportunities for children to become responsible, contributing members of society by providing Villages and community support where stable, nurturing homes exist to meet family, social, emotional and physical needs of children. 

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.