Children in Haiti are suffering

The escalating gang-related violence in Haiti has forced more than 360,000 families to flee their homes, seeking safety and to protect their children.  

Many families have chosen to leave the capital, Port-au-Prince, and those who have nowhere else to go are now living in schools and government buildings that have been turned into camps.  

Those fleeing abandon their means of livelihood, putting them and their families in even more precarious circumstances.  

Nearly half the population – some 5 million people – face acute food insecurity in Haiti.  

Gangs recruiting children  

In addition, the recruitment of children into gangs is a “critical concern”, according to a new UN report.  

Children are used as lookouts and those who want to leave the gangs fear retaliation to themselves and their families.  

Sadly, some children who have tried to leave have been killed.  

“We hope and pray that the situation will get better soon because too many children are suffering mentally and physically,” says Ms. Loiseau, National Director of SOS Children’s Villages Haiti. 

“It’s important to remember that the children of today will be the adults of tomorrow, so it has to be our priority to lessen the level of trauma that will have a direct impact on Haiti’s future.” 

Support for families  

SOS Children’s Villages is helping to support families in the community through the crisis.  

At the SOS Children’s Village in Port-au-Prince, staff and caregivers are doing their best to maintain a sense of normalcy for the 66 children currently being cared for there.  

Activities and remote learning are taking place as usual.     

Children from local communities who attend the SOS Children’s Villages school also participate in remote learning. For families in the city without internet access or smartphones, teachers provide printed homework for parents to collect outside the school.  

Ms Loiseau says, “All children under our care are safe.”   

“They don’t go out as schools are still not open [for physical attendance]. We continue to monitor the situation.  

“The children and staff in our Family-like Care Programme have enough supplies for a month and there are also emergency supplies in case things get worse.” 

“Through our Family Strengthening programme, we’re working on ways to support families the best that we can, as their situation has worsened due to the security difficulties.” 

Stay up to date