SOS Children's Village Cap Haїtien is situated around 6km from the town of the same name. The area is very sparsely populated and most of the people that do live there are employed in different aspects of agricultural production.
Just as in the rest of Haiti, the 2010 earthquake had a devastating impact on the lives and livelihoods of people living in Cap Haїtien. Haiti was already one of the least developed countries in the region and this disaster has greatly added to the challenges that the people here face.
After the earthquake
The 2010 earthquake killed hundreds of thousands of people throughout Haiti, and a cholera outbreak immediately following it infected around 476,000. This disaster has also left millions without basic necessities, like running water, electricity, or a permanent home.
Loss and hardship on this scale is beyond comparison, and particularly impacts on the life chances of the children living through it. Without support and basic services, they will struggle to achieve their full potential.
Many children in Cap Haїtien were already living without parental care, but the earthquake has exacerbated this problem and robbed many of a loving home. Across Haiti up to 2 million children now live without the care and support that would help them to flourish.
These children have extremely precarious lives and are at major risk from child trafficking and sexual exploitation. NGOs and the government have worked hard to stamp this out, but tackling the problem remains a pressing challenge.
What is SOS Children's Villages doing to help?
We started our work in Cap Haїtien in 1989. After the 2010 earthquake we took on the challenge of providing emergency relief to children and families throughout Haiti. Now, we are focusing our work on tackling the long term [rpblems that Haitian families and children continue to face.
Our family strengthening programme aims to provide sustainable solutions to a whole range of challenges that families in and around Cap Haїtien face. This programme helps over 1,000 children and their families to stay together and thrive.
We work hard with families to offer them the advice and support they need to provide the best possible care for their children. This includes practical assistance, such as a day care centre that gives working parents a safe place to leave their children whilst they go out to work.
New family home
When children can no longer live with their parents they can find a home with one of 22 SOS families. Here they can live together with their brothers and sisters, and are given all the care and affection they need by their SOS mother.
They all attend the SOS school with up to 700 children from the local area, which helps them to make friends in the local community. The relationships they build here are an essential basis for their healthy development and prosperous futures.
Support until independent adults
When children from SOS families are old enough, they often move into shared accommodation that is offered by the SOS youth programme. They are supported by qualified counsellors to plan for the future and shoulder increasing responsibility as part of their first steps towards independence.
They are able to learn a wide range of useful skills at the SOS vocational training centre. As well as training for these young people, this centre also offers literacy courses to help adults in the local community to break the cycle of poverty.
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