Combating malnutrition, Water and sanitation, Emergency aid after the earthquake
In Haiti since 1989, Terre des hommes (Tdh) takes care of children suffering from malnutrition, develops access to water and sanitation, and brings emergency aid after the disasters - earthquake and cyclones - that hit the country.
Even before the earthquake, the state of health and child protection was already very alarming: four children out of ten lived in absolute poverty, 23% of the under-fives suffered from delayed growth, one third of the children did not live at home, 173,000 worked as unpaid domestic servants ("restavek"), 2,000 children became victims of trafficking yearly. On January 12th, 2010, an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale devastated the capital city and its surroundings. Hundreds of thousands of children and adults lost their families, their homes and their work within a few dreadful minutes. They were forced to go and find refuge in other regions, which also brought them into danger. After the cyclones of the 2010 summer, the Haitians were struck by a terrible cholera epidemic, and then by violent riots related to the recent elections.
Natasha, alone with her grandmother, surrounded by wreckage.
Natasha and her family suffered the full force of the 12th January earthquake. Today she has gone back to school, and her grandmother tries to get her shop working again, wiped out by the disaster.
Natasha is 12 and had lived with her grandmother and three brothers since their mother died and their father abandoned them. Her elder brother, who, at 18, looked after and protected the whole family, sadly did not survive the earthquake. Fleeing their completely destroyed house, Natasha and her grandmother found refuge in a church, but became separated from the two other little boys. Natasha soon went to the children's recreation centre run by Tdh where she is involved in several activities, some educational, some play, all of which help her to get over her trauma. The youth workers at the centre, alerted to her history, searched for her two little brothers. One of them had been able to find friends of his grandmother in Port-au-Prince and the other was discovered elsewhere, but also with friends. The family is now reunited, and Terre des hommes and the community have built a shelter to protect them from bad weather and flooding.
A Tdh social worker explains: "We are still following-up this family and seeing how we can go on helping them. The three children have gone back to school. We are helping the grandmother to reopen the shop she had before the earthquake, but she survives above all thanks to her faith and the aid she gives and receives from the whole community."
DELEGATE: Olivier Le Guillou, TDH STAFF: 220 local employees and 20 expatriates - INTERVENTION AREAS: Les Cayes, Leogane, Petit Goave, Grand Goave, Camp Perrin, Torbeck, Arniquet, Chantal, Port Salut - PARTNER ORGANISATIONS: Medecins Sans Frontieres Spain, Medecins du Monde Suisse, Terre des Hommes Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg - BUDGET 2011: 8 millions CHF.