Save the Children Races to Children & Families

by Save the Children Federation
Save the Children Races to Children & Families
Save the Children Races to Children & Families
Save the Children Races to Children & Families
Save the Children Races to Children & Families
Save the Children Races to Children & Families
Save the Children Races to Children & Families

"Ecole Eddy Pascal Takes Education Forward"

Ecole Eddy Pascal was a cornerstone of the local community in Carrefour, Haiti, for over 25 years. Housed in an imposing three-story building, Ecole Eddy Pascal offered elementary and secondary school, classes for adults and a cultural club for the community. But the facility collapsed on January 12, and the school director, Eddy Pascal himself, began searching for a way to start over.

"The first thing we did was ask parents what they had and what they could contribute," he said. "But then Save the Children arrived and gave us exactly what we needed."

Soon there were tents for classrooms, blackboards, equipment and supplies. Children received school kits including a backpack, notebooks and writing utensils. Save the Children has also been training the teachers on how to help children cope with the emotional stress children have suffered from the earthquake. In addition, teachers are coached on how to handle aftershocks that might occur during school hours, making them better prepared to respond in an emergency situation.

"I'm very happy for the opportunity to participate in the trainings," says teacher Jean-Joab. "Psychologically we are much more prepared now."

Jean-Joab hopes the children will be able to move forward despite the suffering they have experienced and the challenges they continue to face. He continues, "I want the children to be able to live their lives with the tools they gain here so that education is practical for their lives. I am much more patient now. We have just come out of a nightmare."

"Making a Home for the School: Cash-for-Work and Education Working Together"

When the January 12 earthquake completely destroyed the Ecole Mixte Etzer Vilaire des Orangers in Jacmel, Haiti, School Director Joseph Constant was devastated. The remnants of the foundation are the only evidence the school ever even existed. Fortunately school had ended by the time the earthquake hit, and no one was hurt. "I thought there was no way school could continue," Mr. Constant explains, "but I knew we had to find a way to prevent the children from slipping in their studies. So now we have a friendship with Save the Children."

In addition to clearing an area for a temporary school through a cash-for-work program, Save the Children provided tents, benches, blackboards, and a school kit for children including a backpack, writing utensils and a workbook. Local community members who were engaged in the cash-for-work program also set up the tents and cleared the rubble from the former school location. They are now working to prepare the new school site.

Participants in the cash-for-work program are local community members who were affected by the earthquake, some of whom had lost their home or their livelihood in the disaster. The program also specifically supports people with three or more children and women who are heads of household.

The students are thrilled to be back in classes. "School is important because we need to learn," exclaims the first grade class almost in unison. "It's important to know how to write so that we can spell our names," adds 7-year-old Woudline. Each student in the first grade class has a goal: they want to "work the land" or "build houses" or "be a nurse."

Twelve-year-old Monise states in a serious tone, "After school I'm going to work so that I can help my mother." The school had 127 students prior to the earthquake. To date, 92 students have returned. Many others have left the area as families migrated to other regions or children who had been in the care of a relative returned to parents' homes. Mr. Constant is hopeful that school attendance will continue to grow as they move into their new, permanent location. "Education is the key to freedom," Mr. Constant declares. "Both the school and Save the Children know it is our duty to educate children. To work in education is a matter of the heart."

Save the Children has been working in Haiti since 1978 and had numerous education projects in place prior to the earthquake. Since January 12, education programming has expanded to include over 270 schools that are now benefitting from tents, tarpaulins, equipment, supplies, school kits and/or teacher training. Save the Children plans to provide access to school for more than 160,000 children in Haiti.

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Life After the Quake

Six months after the quake, despite the significant progress Save the Children and others have made to alleviate children’s suffering and begin addressing longer-term needs, the magnitude of the destruction and damage is such that much remains to be done to assist children and families. Rubble still fills the streets of Port-au-Prince, Léogâne and Jacmel. Most people have little access to safe shelter, drinking water, electricity or health care. Approximately 1 million are still homeless, many living in substandard shelters. Children lost family, friends, schools and homes and are particularly vulnerable to disease, abuse and exploitation. The infrastructure essential to the process of rebuilding — electricity, sanitation, health facilities and schools — was largely destroyed in the quake, hampering efforts to provide services to needy families. Under these precarious conditions, Haiti’s hurricane season has officially begun. Heavy rains could spell another disaster for the country and its people. If, as predicted, Haiti experiences intense storms and hurricanes, already vulnerable children and their families will require a renewed surge of humanitarian aid, especially shelter, food, water and sanitation.

An Opportunity for a New Haiti

Haiti’s people may feel anxious that another hurricane or earthquake could strike at any time, but the prospect of rebuilding and creating a new, better country offers hope. With support from unprecedented numbers of citizens and public and private organizations worldwide, Haitians have an historic opportunity to rebuild a nation that has struggled for centuries with persistent poverty, exclusion and weak governance. Save the Children has an ongoing commitment to Haiti that goes back to its first programs in 1978. Our current goal is to alleviate the suffering of 800,000 people (including 470,000 children) affected by the disaster. The agency also is preparing to assist Haiti through a 5-year relief-to-recovery effort to build back better. Strengthening the capacity of Haitians and their institutions —governmental and nongovernmental alike — will enable Haiti’s people to play a more active role in managing their own future. If further crises arise, Save the Children will renew its emergency assistance. Donor governments need to uphold their commitments and deliver on pledges to provide timely, robust and sustained support during this still critical phase of the emergency in Haiti, and for the recovery and long-term development of its people. Actors in the recovery need to be accountable for the use of aid resources. This will ensure that aid strengthens the institutions governing Haiti’s recovery and development and fosters transparency and participation of all stakeholders, including children.


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Summary: Over the past four months, since the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, Save the Children has worked nonstop to alleviate children’s suffering and ensure their well-being. Through your generosity and that of other donors, Save the Children has delivered lifesaving relief and today is also transitioning to longer-term recovery programs in the worst-affected communities. We continue to coordinate our responses with government partners, other local and international non-governmental organizations through the United Nations cluster system, and are working with local authorities and communities to address the most urgent needs of children and support their protection and recovery.

To date, over 550,000 children and adults who care for them have benefited from our work in Port-au-Prince, Léogâne, Jacmel and Petit Goave and surrounding communities.

*Please see attached document for full report

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Save the Children plans to provide emergency assistance to save lives, alleviate suffering, and support the recovery of 800,000 people (including 470,000 children) affected by the 12 January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. We plan to transition into longer term rehabilitation and reconstruction to ensure a better future for Haiti’s children.

Number of beneficiaries we plan to reach: 800,000 Number of total beneficiaries reached so far: *553,009

*number includes distributed medical supplies and medicines to support beneficiaries over 6 wk period. Please note that the beneficiary numbers have not been updated since sitrep 32 as the team is currently going through an exercise of verifying numbers.

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In his testimony today before a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee, Save the Children President Charles MacCormack urged Congress to help ensure a brighter future for Haiti and its children by strengthening the capacity of its government, citizens and private sector.

He noted that well-coordinated collaboration between the Haitian government and civil society, the United Nations, the U.S. and other donors and non-governmental organizations, such as Save the Children, was essential to addressing both the immediate and long-term development needs of the country.

MacCormack shared his observations from his two visits to Haiti since the magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck over three weeks ago. "While the Haitian people are extremely resilient and have exhibited much patience, their challenge is daunting," said CharlesMacCormack. "It will take a collective effort today to give the children and families of Haiti a better tomorrow."

In his testimony, MacCormack said that it will take 10 years and a substantial investment to rebuild the country, and will require a coordinated and transparent response. To help the Haiti government redirect its funding into investments that would help in its recovery, MacCormack proposed that Congress expand Haiti's trade preferences to include additional exports, issue grants instead of loans to the Haitian government and support cancelling Haiti's nearly $1 billion international debt.

"Future funds must go to providing children and families access to health services, education and economic opportunities," said McCormack. "This is a long-term disaster and the U.S. must commit for the long-haul. Sustaining significant investment over the next 10 years will be critical to ensuring the well-being of children and their families."

MacCormack applauded President Obama's appointment of USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah to oversee the coordination of the U.S. humanitarian response to the Haiti earthquake but urged that this role be expanded to include the long-term development needs of the country.

"The U.S., with non-governmental organizations and donors, should intensify its commitment to building the capacity and systems of the Haitian government and Haitian civil society to lead and manage their own development," said MacCormack. "We must support Haitians in building back better for the children of Haiti."

Drawing on lessons learned from Save the Children's response to the 2004 Asian tsunami, MacCormack noted that putting Haitians at the center of their own development and recognizing the critical role of women and youth in the decision-making process would be essential for Haiti's recovery.

On the ground in Haiti for over 32 years, Save the Children launched one of its largest disaster responses ever. Save the Children has reached more than 200,000 children and adults, providing lifesaving food, medicines and supplies. In addition, the organization is working to protect vulnerable children, providing spaces to play and helping trace unaccompanied children to reunite them with their families.

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Organization Information

Save the Children Federation

Location: Fairfield, CT - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @savethechildren
Project Leader:
Megan McLain
Manager, Corporate Partnerships
Westport, CT United States

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