This month marks the three year anniversary of the devastating earthquake which hit Haiti on 12 January 2010. International children's charity SOS Children provided vital emergency relief in the aftermath of the quake, and are now focusing on strengthening the resources of communities to become independent.
After the 2010 earthquake, SOS Children stepped in to provide immediate assistance to families whose lives had been destroyed. The charity offered food packages, gave medical care where needed and provided shelter to unaccompanied children.
Since then, the charity helped communities in Haiti to rebuild their lives, provided a permanent home in their SOS Children’s Villages for children with no one to care for them, and built and refurbished schools. In October 2012, the country was badly affected by Hurricane Sandy, and once again SOS Children reached out through their SOS Social Centres to provide vital support for those affected.
From emergency relief to sustainable community development
Now, the charity are focusing on strengthening the resources of communities, gradually converting emergency relief distribution points into permanent social centres to empower vulnerable families to become independent, preventing child abandonment. So far, 26 community centres across Port-au-Prince have been opened, one of the cities hardest hit by the earthquake.
The community centres equip parents with the knowledge and skills to move towards self-reliance. In consultation with families, social workers tailor programmes to meet their requirements. Training classes on offer includes hygiene and family planning. Literacy lessons provide the essential skills they need for gaining employment. Overall, the charity are strengthening parent’s capacity to care and provide for their children in the long-term, ensuring families can grow up together in a positive environment.