Haiti Haiti has been plagued by natural disasters â€“ most notably earthquakes, hurricanes, mudslides, tropical storms, and floods. Of all the nations in the Western Hemisphere, none has faced greater challenges to improve the lives of its children than Haiti. In addition to its poor development indicators, Haiti
is the country most affected by HIV/AIDS outside of subSaharan Africa. HIV/AIDS in Haiti dramatically affects the well-being of children whose health is already compromised by poverty and inadequate access to basic health care.
Save the Children’s Presence in Haiti Left: In Jacmel, Haiti, workers move stones to help re-direct a river bed as part of a Save the Children Cash for Work Project. Right: The Institute Abelard Leogane School, Haiti was built with Save the Children’s support using innovative yet simple techniques that make it more hurricane and earthquake-resistant. It’s made up of eight classrooms with an average of 30 children per class. Cover: A group of students at the Insitute Abelard, Leogane Haiti. This school was built with Save the Childrenís support using innovative yet simple techniques that make it more hurricane and earthquake-resistant.
Over the past 2 years in Haiti, Save the Children has implemented 2 DRR programs with over $1.3 million USD from USAID and DIPECHO/ECHO. Collectively the programs have reached over 14,000 people directly and over 325,000 indirectly. Save the Children’s disaster preparedness, mitigation and management is child-focused and is part of the agency’s global child-led DRR strategy. Child-led approaches allow for meaningful participation of children at all levels of programming. These programming approaches use proven behaviour change communication methodologies and can be applied to both formal and non-formal education settings.
DRR & Education Save the Children worked with schools to develop and implement emergency preparedness and management plans through School Emergency Response Teams (SERT) comprised of teachers, parents and children / adolescents. The SERTs worked with communities and schools to implement mitigation activities based on the findings of the hazard assessments completed by children. Save the Children worked with the (Direction de Protection Civile) DPC at departmental and communal levels to build their capacities in disaster preparedness, mitigation and management in general while bringing a child-specific focus to the process. Save the Children supported the DPC at each level to develop and strengthen their emergency preparedness plan ensuring that the needs and rights of children are taken into account. In addition, we supported the DPC and the Ministry of Education (MENFP) to identify shelters early and to develop and implement a clear communication strategy for disseminating information about disaster preparedness and response. Moreover, Save the Children supported the DPC and MENFP to develop specific information messages and public signs for display in the community. Save the Children used innovative yet simple techniques to support the building of schools that make the structure more hurricane and earthquake-resistant. Save the Children plans to build more of these model schools in the future. We are also providing teachers with training on reducing the impact of disasters on children, reducing the psychosocial and social needs of children affected by the quake and applying positive practices in the classroom.
Cash-for-work Areas of Haiti, such as Jacmel, are often plagued by floods. In the rainy season the small ravines fill with water, threatening homes and schools along its edges. With the onset of the rainy season, Save the Children set up a cash-for-work program which employs people from the community to work on the water channel in Jacmel. They rebuild it with safer techniques to make it more resistant to heavy rains, better directing the water and reducing the likelihood of flooding. They pass large rocks along and place them in large metal cages that support the river walls.