Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Earthquake Devastates Haiti.
On January 12 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated the people of Haiti, just 15 km from the capital city of Port-au-Prince. While the death toll may never be fully determined, more than 200,000 are feared to be dead. Another three million are affected as schools, homes and hospitals have collapsed.
Free The Children's Work in Haiti: for the past 10 years.
Free The Children has a 10-year history of working in Haiti and developing strong connections with local partners. Prior to the earthquake, we had built nine schools, a nutrition centre, sanitation facilities and helped support teacher salaries and technical training for students. Nearly 2,000 children in Haiti attend Free The Children schools.
Emergency Response Efforts.
When the earthquake struck, Free The Children immediately responded with a strategy focused on protecting children. A small convoy from Free The Children, including Craig Kielburger, travelled to Haiti to assist with early response through delivery of basic supplies, and to carry out rapid needs assessments.
Thanks to tremendous support from our donors, Free The Children was quickly able to join international aid efforts. Free The Children has continued to support the people of Haiti in their recovery. This support has been in the form of in kind donations, specifically medical supplies for the victims of the earthquake and to the recent cholera outbreak.
Our in-kind donations also included:
Shipment of medical supplies, which will arrive in Haiti in early January 2011 and be distributed to clinics and hospitals in need; this is in addition to previous shipment of medical supplies.
Eight pallets worth of food, blankets, nutritional supplements and hygiene basics such as toothbrushes and soap.
Thirteen containers of emergency humanitarian aid, such as food, water, baby formula, baby food, diapers, blankets, medical supplies, and generators, which were distributed to internally displaced persons (IDPs).
150 health and hygiene kits for those living in IDP camps.
One container worth of medical supplies which included leg braces, casting material, wheelchairs, walkers, splints, saline and IV materials, as well as wound bandage materials and hospital beds. Free The Children also shipped additional medical supplies in response to the cholera outbreak which includes all of the above plus surgery supplies.
200 school kits to orphans in Dos Palais.
Worked in partnership with Partners In Health in the provision of immediate health care delivery following the earthquake.
Interim education structures such as "tented field schools".
Long-term Response Efforts.
Recognizing that to appropriately respond to this crisis in Haiti and to the tremendous influx of IDPs, Free The Children added Haiti as our seventh Adopt a Village country. We are now currently implementing our holistic Adopt a Village program in Haiti, providing communities with education, clean water, health, sanitation and alternative income programming.
We are also supporting ongoing leadership training for youth, community leaders and teachers, as well as building a permanent volunteer centre to host group trips, experts and specialists.
Free The Children takes a five year approach on all work to empower Haitians in their efforts to recover and we take an integrated approach with projects in education, water, and health care. In building the foundation for long term development Free The Children support as resulted in:
Built or repaired 23 classrooms in two rural communities, providing a safe and clean learning environment as well as school supplies for over 1,400 students. Built six new classrooms, rehabilitated a large 13 classroom complex, four additional classrooms are currently under construction.
Home to home visits to displaced and handicapped individuals, providing additional health supplies and negotiation skills and training so their children could gain free access to the schools in the rural communities.
School based youth programming and self expression projects, including the painting of murals, school based art projects, the installation of playgrounds, and the construction of a basketball court for youth of the community.
Distribution of 1400 school and health kits for students.