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SOS Children's Villages Saving Young Haitian Lives One at a Time: Two-Year-Old Josette
February 19, 2010: When asked who her mother was by SOS Children's Villages staff in Santo, Haiti, the toddler pointed to the older girl next to her. That girl is 17-year-old Gisele, a traumatized teenager who can barely manage on her own.
The social worker in the community center had told the teenager about the SOS Children's Village in Santo. No longer able to cope, Gisele brought her daughter to SOS-Santo. She loves her daughter, says Gisele, and that is why she brought her here. "I can't take care of her alone. My family is dead, and until I find a job I can't feed us both."
Josette is one of 126 children, most from refugee camps, who arrived at SOS-Santo on February 17. Many of these children suffer from severe malnutrition and dehydration;
Finding Safe, Temporary Refuge
While Gisele seeks work, Josette will be well-cared for at SOS-Santo. Gisele wants to look for a job; meanwhile, she will visit her daughter every week. Although the teen does not want to live at the village, SOS Children's Villages will support Gisele with food and water. Once her mother can care for her, Josette will return to her.
Despite the stress of taking in so many new children at once, the SOS mothers and aunties (their assistants) at SOS-Santo are giving each and every child a warm welcome. Josette has entered the loving embrace of an SOS family with SOS siblings to play with. She will be fed, clothed, and nurtured.
More than 400 children are living in the SOS Children's Village in Santo. The site has reached the limit of children that can stay in its houses; staff have started erecting donated tents for some of the children to stay in temporarily. Josette is surrounded by the sound of laughter that is heard throughout the village. Through its support of 77 community centers in Haiti, SOS is also providing care and daily meals for 9,500 children outside its Children's Village in Santo.
Help a little girl like Josette find stability, food, and kindness at a horrific time in her life. Please support SOS Children's Villages' relief efforts in Haiti and all over the world with a donation or monthly sponsorship.
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For 60 years, SOS Children's Villages has been dedicated to the long-term care and prevention of orphaned and abandoned children. Through their Children's Villages, Family Strengthening Programs, and other initiatives, SOS impacts the lives of over 1 million people each year. In 2009, SOS Children's Villages received the Save the World Award. SOS has also received numerous honors including the Mother Teresa Gold Medal, the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, and the Vietnam Friendship Medal. For more information about SOS Children's Villages, visit http://www.sos-