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Haiti Six Months On: Out of the News but Front and Center for SOS
Half a year after Haiti’s terrible earthquake, the country’s needs remain dire. More than 1 million people remain homeless and thousands of children are still without parental care. Reconstruction is slow and, in some areas, nonexistent.
Months after the media have left the scene, SOS Children’s Villages remains in Haiti, feeding thousands of families and raising more than 400 children at SOS-Santo Children’s Village, outside of Port-au-Prince.
SOS staff in Haiti are working hard to give the children under their care a sense of stability, something they lost six months ago. Family reunification, whenever possible, continues to be a top priority for SOS. Recently 22 children at SOS-Santo were rejoined with their families.
The several hundred children raised within SOS families receive medical and psychological attention from permanent and visiting physicians, dentists, and nurses. SOS families live in clean, dry homes and temporary shelters secured several months ago.
Reaching Local Communities in Need
The family strengthening program is one of the pillars of SOS’s approach to helping children in Haiti and around the world. The program seeks to stabilize families, financially and otherwise, enabling them to remain intact. After disasters, SOS widens its program reach.
Since Haiti’s earthquake, SOS has been distributing food to thousands of homeless families. SOS channels nutritious food packages to children and families outside its own Villages through 133 food distribution and community centers. In mid-June, SOS was serving 22,000 people. The number of beneficiaries has shot up over the last few months with SOS now distributing food at tent camps that house large numbers of children.
SOS schools are open to local populations as well as SOS children. SOS staff are training school teachers to create more stimulating environments and to separate children into smaller clusters. Toward this end, SOS is seeking more tents to be used as classrooms.
International NGOs Offer Services to SOS Children
In the wake of natural disasters all over the world, SOS relies on the relationships it has built with regional nongovernmental organizations to help the children and families within and near its Villages. In Haiti, many different groups have stepped in to assist. Currently, the Colombian Red Cross provides medical attention and training to community mothers. In early June, Relief International donated 200,000 dry food rations to SOS for distribution.
Help SOS give traumatized children the love and attention they continue to need six months after their lives were shattered.
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For over 60 years, SOS Children's Villages has been dedicated to the long-term care of children without parental care. Through our SOS Children's Villages and other initiatives, SOS impacts the lives of over 1 million people each year.