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More Attention Needs to Be Devoted to the Future of Haiti’s Orphans, Asserts WWO CEO Jane Aronson
One-year after the devastating earthquake, Dr. Jane Aronson, Founder and CEO of Worldwide Orphans Foundation (WWO), returned from a mission trip to Haiti on Jan. 28, where she assessed the plight of orphans and vulnerable children.
“Since last year’s devastating earthquake, I found that Haiti has come a long way in its recovery,” said Dr. Aronson, who has led several intensive mission trips to the island since the earthquake hit on Jan. 12, 2010. “WWO is committed to providing creative and transforming programs involving education, medical care and mental health for orphans.”
“I see a new Haiti. Unlike current media coverage touting little progress, many NGOs working in Haiti since the earthquake – and long before the earthquake struck – are making significant progress in rebuilding the country under often challenging circumstances. It’s unfair to think that nothing has been done,” said Aronson. “I think that for a country with such a dark history, they have survived a tough year well.” Aronson and a team of experts were in Haiti from Jan.25-28.
UNICEF estimates that nearly 1.5 million children have seen their lives dramatically disrupted by the catastrophic quake, and many more remain at risk and require assistance and protection. Prior to the quake, nearly 380,000 orphaned children had already lost one or both parents according to UNICEF.
During the mission to Port-au-Prince, Dr. Aronson visited orphanages to witness the living conditions and environment and hear directly from orphans and orphanage directors on their specific needs to tailor to WWO’s innovative programs. WWO programming in Haiti features psychosocial and development initiatives, which include global arts, sports and recreational programs, camps, and toy libraries.
WWO will also begin implementation of a new early intervention program, which trains and employs youth to work in orphanages to enhance the growth and development of orphans. UNICEF estimates that almost half of Haiti’s population is under 18 years of age.
While in Haiti, Dr. Aronson wrote a series of poignant and eye-opening journals on Haiti’s orphans. To read her blogs, visit:
Journal from the Field #1: http://wwo.org/
Journal from the Field #2: http://wwo.org/
Journal from the Field #3: http://www.wwo.org/
Dr. Jane Aronson, a leading expert on the world’s orphans, is available for interviews on the on-the-ground realities of orphans in Haiti, one year after the quake. Dr. Aronson will offer insight into WWO’s long-term plans to help the orphans of Haiti to heal and recover.
ABOUT WWO: WWO is an international organization dedicated to transforming the lives of orphaned children by taking them out of anonymity and helping them to become healthy, independent, productive members of their communities and the world. For more information, please visit www.wwo.org. To view video clips on WWO’s work in action, visit www.wwo.org/
Dr. Jane Aronson is an internationally-
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WWO is an international organization dedicated to transforming the lives of orphaned children by taking them out of anonymity and helping them to become healthy, independent, productive members of their communities and the world.