Thursday 11 February, 2010
Four weeks after the 7.0 magnitude catastrophic earthquake devastated Haiti, survivors need more than ongoing physical relief such as food and shelter.
More than 9 out of 10 people surveyed by World Vision have lost loved ones, including friends, extended or close family. Access to the basics of life and some sense of control is an essential part of coping with loss, according to World Vision.
World Vision spoke to 150 people across three sites in Port-au-Prince, where we are providing emergency supplies and services to children and families. More than 40% of people have lost an immediate family member, while 14% said multiple members of their immediate family had been killed by the quake.
“Haiti is a nation in mourning,” said World Vision’s Child Protection Specialist Sian Platt. “People have not just lost homes, jobs and everything they own, they are somehow trying to come to terms with the death of those who loved and supported them.
“Everyone mourns in different ways,” says Platt. “But it cannot be underestimated how important the wellbeing of families is in the rebuilding of Haiti,” said Platt.
As part of the relief effort, World Vision has established Child Friendly Spaces across Port-au-Prince in order to provide children with a sense of normalcy and routine in such a chaotic environment.
In partnership with UNICEF, World Vision will work across large parts Haiti to trace and reunify children with their families.
Syndia, 8, is now living with neighbours after her parents were killed on 12 January. “When the earthquake hit, the house was broken and destroyed,” she said. “Mum and Dad were inside and they died.
“I cry every day,” she said. “I cannot sleep. I think of my Mum.”
Elda Rosier, 45, said: “It has touched us very deep. We still dream about what happened. Very often my heart beats fast and I have a headache.”
World Vision will continue to work with families to restore social structures and a sense of normality, reinstating community services and structures, as well as rebuilding family and community networks.
Read latest updates about World Vision’s response and children sponsored by Australians here.
You can donate to the Haiti earthquake appeal here.