Relief and Recovery for Haiti Disaster Survivors

by Mercy Corps
Oct 19, 2012

Helping Kids Heal in Haiti

Thirteen-year-old Emanuella
Thirteen-year-old Emanuella

Cité Soleil is full of a lot of things, but hope is not one of them.

There’s the fetid smell of smoldering trash. The deafening noise of jets landing at the airport nearby. The piles of cement rubble, some even older than the historic 2010 earthquake. And the tents — scores of blue-and-gray tarps clustered among the ruins.

The neighborhood is one of the poorest and most violent in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. Armed gangs used to rule the streets. Many residents lack running water and electricity. For as many as 400,000 residents, there is only one public school.

The devastating 2010 earthquake was just the first tragedy to strike thirteen-year-old Emmanuella's young life: She escaped the rubble of her home, only to lose even more amidst the violence in her neighborhood as her father was murdered and never found.

"When the earthquake reached my house I was watching TV. When I tried to get out a cement brick fell from above onto my leg. I saw people who had died, and people who were trapped. I was afraid because I thought I was going to die. After the earthquake I lived in a tent with my mother. We didn't have beds. We made beds with bricks. I live in Cité Soleil but I am often afraid because sometimes there is killing and violence."

"Life is really hard for children in Cité Soleil," says Franz, Emanuella's mentor and Soccer for Life coach. "Soccer for Life is a program that Mercy Corps has set up in Cité Soleil. Soccer is one of the tools we use to help the children forget a lot of things and live together in harmony. Emanuella has become a model for the children. Emanuella's life turned around. I see that soccer can bring the change that we want in Cité Soleil."

"Playing soccer makes me happy," explains Emanuella. "When I pass, when I hit the ball with my stomach or with my chest, when I score a goal, when my team is the champion, and when we jump when we win."

"Now I feel comfortable like I used to be because I'm not stressed anymore and I'm not scared anymore. That's why I feel better."

Click here to watch this uplifting video to find out how Emanuella has found comfort — and confidence — playing in Mercy Corps' Soccer for Life program.

Emanuella with her mentor and coach, Franz
Emanuella with her mentor and coach, Franz



About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Mercy Corps

Location: Portland, OR - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Carlene Deits
Portland, Oregon United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

Still want to help?

Support another project run by Mercy Corps that needs your help, such as:

Find a Project

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.