It is our pleasure to have this new opportunity of contacting you and share with you this note about the developments of the SOS Children´s Village Cap Haitian during the first semester of the year 2012. Here at the SOS Children's Village Cap Haitian, the children and youngsters grow up in a family atmosphere and a loving home where they are provided solutions according to their needs.
The SOS Children's Village Cap Haitian is taking care of 238 children (130 girls and 108 boys) who enjoy the protection of their SOS mothers within the 22 family houses. To reinforce the care of the SOS children 17 aunts or family assistants are also working in the SOS Village Cap Haitian. Three SOS mothers-trainees have replaced three SOS mothers retired. Among these three SOS mothers retired, Ms. Cléante Altidor sadly passed away during the month of last February. All the SOS Village Cap Haitian, especially the SOS mothers and SOS children went to her funeral, which took place at Lemonade, an area located 15 kms away from the city of Cap Haitian.
The Programme currently has five youth communities that are located around the city in rented houses with the options of annual renewal contracts. Two of these houses are occupied by 14 young girls from 16 to 23 years and 21 young boys are living in the other three. These 35 young people are living with the accompaniment of educators or monitors for their guidance in the aim to help them either to continue with their professional studies or to help them find a Job. Another group of 41 young people (former SOS children) receive economical support in order to promote their social and economic integration. We encourage and assist them in their Job search and in the meantime they continue receiving a monthly allowance to take care of their daily needs. Although it is a great challenge to integrate young people into the labor market, now there are more chances, because after the earthquake of January 2010, the country has more projection worldwide which has encouraged local and international investment in different areas which contributes to create new jobs.
Academically, despite the small learning difficulties presented by some of the children, they all went back to school in January 2012. The majority of children and young people from the Village attended the SOS School, which has come as a response to the educational needs of over 894 children from both the local community and the SOS Children's Village because unfortunately the Haitian State still cannot guarantee a full access to the educational system. Some of the children attended other schools, specifically those who had completed the basic cycle. This year, the children from the Programme had a very good school year; the results showed that 85% approved elementary school and are now waiting to take the official state exams to start the 9th grade (first cycle of secondary school).
On the other hand, we've managed to involve as many children and young people as possible in social activities and integrate them into community life. Conferences and debates have been organized for the young people about the risks and disasters that threaten the territory of Haiti prior to hurricane seasons.
Youngsters between 14 and 17 years of age from the SOS Children´s Village and Youth Communities participated of a reforestation campaign carried out in the past month of May, where several trees were planted in the Village and other districts at risk. This campaign was developed with the purpose of raising awareness to the fact that the vegetation surface is now less of 3% of the land, reason why the population must pay special attention to this matter. Another group of 6 Children participated in a French vocabulary contest organized by the French Alliance. This exercise aimed to promote the learning of reading and writing within the community of Cap-Haitian and especially for the children.
We set up several activities for this summer such as: basketball, volleyball: the literary workshop, dance, music, floral art etc, where the children had the opportunity to choose according to their preferences. Some young people of the SOS youth communities volunteered to accompany children during summer season. Also, some former SOS youngsters with good domain in certain subjects offered their expertise on a voluntary basis to help the smallest ones with school reinforcement.
During summer, some children went to spend the holidays with their families of origin. We truly promote this activity because despite the difficulties encountered in some families, the children are usually very happy to return to their places of origin.
We have attributed the summer season or school holidays specifically to facilitate the family reunification of certain children of the SOS Village Cap Haitian. Among the children in vulnerability that were taken care by the SOS Children´s Village Cap Haitian, some of them were temporarily hosted after the earthquake, and 14 Children came from a SOS Children's Village in the Dominican Republic, where they have been supported for more than one year. 7 of them were able to return to live with their families of origin. The work of tracing and reunification with their biological families is continuing for the other children.
The community centers of Family Strengthening Programme in Cap Haitian provide direct support to over 1,200 children. They receive nutritive meals and they have access to preschool education. Recreational activities are also organized in the community centers, particularly around Carnival festival, Easter, Christmas and also the International Day of the Rights of the Child. The mothers that support children in the community centers ('Educating Mothers') are accompanied by a pedagogical team whose mission is to ensure safety standards, and monitoring the development of each child in the areas of nutrition, health and education.
For the academic year 2011-2012, 277 children of the community centers and SOS Social Centre attended primary school, after completing the cycle of preschool education. 55 children of SOS Social Centre and 48 children from the community centers have been incorporated in the SOS School. The other young students were enrolled in public schools nearby.
For 2012, the Family Strengthening Programme organized several counseling sessions and trainings for parents, such as: floral art, cooking, cosmetology, sewing, shoemaking, and microcredit. For the month of March a vaccination campaign was carried out where all the children from 0-9 years of age were vaccinated against rubella, pertussis, tetanus and tuberculosis, all this with the support of the state organization (MSSPP) responsible for disease prevention.
We hope that our report met your kind attention and we hope you continue to support SOS Children´s Village Cap-Haitian.
On behalf of the children and the young people, SOS Children's Village Cap Haitian thanks you for your generous contribution in their favor and we send you a very warm greeting.
SOS Children's Village Cap Haitian