Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world where 20,000 children under the age of 5 died of malnutrition and other causes in 2007 (UNICEF's most recent numbers). We have been working in Haiti since 1979 and have extensive experience in working with children and families in the area.
Already before the earthquake we supported around 3000 children and adults in different communities, working with 600 children and young people in two SOS Children´s Villages and two Youth Centres and providing 1800 children and young people with an opportunity for a strong education in two SOS Hermann Gmeiner Schools and one Vocational Training Centre.
In 2005, SOS Children’s Villages started to operate Family Strengthening Programmes, enabling children at risk of losing the care of their family to grow within a caring family environment. SOS Children’s Villages works directly with families and communities to empower them to effectively protect and care for their children, in cooperation with local authorities and other service providers.
That was before the earthquake. Now the needs for the Haitian children are almost incalculable. SOS has been pulling resources together to provide temporary shelter for unaccompanied children, safe areas for mothers, and food, medicine, trauma counselling, and reunification programs for families and children.
SOS was there before the earthquake, and during it -- but most importantly, SOS will be there for many years to come -- to raise these children, in their communities until they are self sufficient adults.