SOS Children's Village Santo is situated on the outskirts of Port au Prince, Haiti's capital city. Even before the earthquake in 2010, people in the country were very poor and the disaster has only added to these challenges.
The earthquake decimated the lives of people throughout the country. It took the lives of over 100,000 people and left millions without access to basic services like water and electricity.
The devastation of the earthquake was immediately followed by a widespread cholera outbreak. Approximately 6,600 people were killed and 476,000 more were infected, which piled further pressure on an already struggling population.
The cholera outbreak placed additional strain on families throughout the country who faced the crippling cost of illness, both through medical bills and lost wages. When families face extreme challenges like this, children are under increased risk of abandonment.
There were already a large number of children living without parental care in and around Port au Prince. The double disaster of the earthquake and cholera outbreak have added to this, and there are now an estimated 2 million in the country.
In Port au Prince, thousands of children spend their days wandering the streets of the city and live in extremely precarious conditions. Even more worryingly, child trafficking has seen a spike in recent years and children who are affected will struggle to live happy and fulfilled lives.
What is SOS Children's Villages doing?
We started working in Port au Prince in the 1970s and opened or Children's Village Santo in 1984.
This was Haiti's first Children's Village and we continue to work with the community to overcome the challenges that children face on a daily basis.
Support for local families
Our social centres offer a range of support and services to help parents cope and to keep families together, as part of our family strengthening programme. At the centres they are able to access advice and counselling as well as a range of practical support.
We particularly focus on supporting young mothers, who face additional challenges. We offer them, and others, day care services to help them balance their need to work with their childcare responsibilities.
SOS families provide caring homes for nearly 200 children who are not able to remain with their parents. Here, they are able to live with their brothers and sisters and attend the SOS school with children from the local area.
SOS youth programme
When they are old enough to leave their SOS family these children are given help, through the SOS youth programme, to make the transition into adulthood. They are supported by qualified counsellors, to shoulder the increased responsibility of an independent adult life.
Vulnerable children in Santo need your protection. Will you help an orphaned child to have a new family and loving home? Sponsor a child today.