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Haiti Earthquake Orphan Appeal: joint safe haven with UNICEF, children arrive

Haiti Earthquake Orphan Appeal: joint safe haven with UNICEF, children arrive

This is a progress report as at Jan 27 on the work of SOS Children in Haiti.

Lone children (safe shelter)

We have met with both UNICEF and the national Social Welfare Director at the village and jointly agreed to build up a safe shelter for 200 lone children in our school and the surrounding ground. UNICEF will help with supplies with the tents, kitchen and food supplies. The national Social Welfare office also requested space in the school building to set up a short term office  as their own building is destroyed due to the earthquake); we offered two classrooms to them. Although we do not usually directly support government bodies their work is also important and we can work closely with them. We need to work out alternative schooling options once the ministry of education decides to re-start the school year.

Family strengthening programmes

We have set up two new completely new community distribution points and centres One of them will be organised by a former SOS child who initially came to the village with children straight after the earthquake as a refuge and has decided - after having received support - to go back to the communities and organise help with their children.
Four new community centres re-opened today, where we had centres pre earthquake. Distribution of food packages started in those locations and 310 children received three meals as a result.
In total16 community centres and the social centre at the village are open and are taking care of 290 children. Many of these younger children need short term day care to give parents the chance to rebuild or sort out accommodation.
Every family on our programmes around the community centre received a one off kitchen kit and monthly food and hygiene kits.

Georg Willeit (who has a Haiti blog when communications allow) described the food distribution yesterday:

Together with our family strengthening project team, the international emergency team targeted several communities in need. With the help of the local community leaders it was possible today to deliver food for children at four different places without any security problems. We have to roll out more of these programmes, because the need is tremendous. Tomorrow [27 January] this programme will be continued, this means again some additional 500 children to be fed. The community leaders prepared for our arrival very well. People were already waiting anxiously and they started immediately to prepare the first meals. By the end all children were really happy and they even started to sing and dance.

Other progress

The Dominican Republic Red Cross are setting up a tent for two doctors for basic health services on our site and also offering food, hygiene kits, and water. They have also arranged for a  technician to repair the generator which has not been working for two days and is needed for water, also a hospital tent (approx. capacity for 50 persons).
Net Hope (an international organisation for technology) have provided us with a satellite internet connection, for which thanks.