- Compassion International Blog - http://blog.compassion.com -

Haiti Earthquake Update

Haiti earthquake UPDATED: June 30, 2010 at 1:45 p.m. (MT) – Out of more than 22,000 children affected by the earthquake we are still in the process of locating around 350 children. We are continuing to contact sponsors whose children we do have specific information on.

Our church partners continue to search the tent cities daily to locate the rest of the children. In addition, regionally based partnership facilitators continue to search the countryside to find children who may have relocated outside of the city after the quake.

Classes have resumed in nine of the eleven universities where our Leadership Development Program students are enrolled, 62 students are attending class again. However, 26 of our students for various reasons (sickness linked to the earthquake, stress, trauma, formal interdiction from some parents, etc.) have not returned to school.

Our leadership team is proceeding with the repairs of our three-level office building in Port-au-Prince. Repair work is expected to go until the end of July. A local firm is responsible for the repair but an expert from Engineering Ministries International is in the field for the work supervision.

Two psychologists have been hired for a six-month contract to design a plan to help meet the psychological needs of our registered children, siblings, relatives and church staff members.

Our initial objective for addressing the temporary and transitional shelter needs of our beneficiaries was to provide tarps to 4,000 families in the urban areas, and corrugated metal sheets, wood frames and nails to 2,000 families located in the rural areas.

So far, we have distributed 4,237 tarps to complete the tarp distribution activity. Some families were given two tarps based on need. Also, more than 1,300 families received corrugated metal sheets and wood frames in rural areas. Another 700 will be served as soon as possible.

About 8,000 registered children and 7,000 siblings and parents were seen through our mobile medical clinics. Malaria and typhoid tests have been given to patients who also received medicine, if needed, or are referred to the hospital or a health center for follow-up.

As most of our child development centers also have a school where many of the children attend, our plan to provide transitional meeting places until the damaged centers can be rebuilt is providing school equipment to replace some of what has been lost.

The Haitian government has reopened schools and extended the school term by through August. Most of the schools are allowing children to go home at noon because of the extreme heat, to minimize the amount of time the children are kept under the tarps and canopies.

We are processing letters and gifts for all child development centers in Haiti. If you send a gift, please do not specify how it should be used. It is very difficult for our Haiti staff to follow through with the request.

Until further notice we are not conducting any travel to Haiti (e.g., sponsor visits, individual relief efforts, tours, vision trips, etc.).

All of the affected child development centers have resumed activities, meeting under tarps or tin roofs. All of the significantly affected centers are meeting three times a week.

Although the full scope of regular activities is not currently taking place at child development centers and child survival programs significantly affected by the earthquake, affected church partners are continuing to conduct camps to help address the psychological, physical, nutritional, and cognitive needs of our registered children, as well as the mothers and the babies participating in our Child Survival Program (CSP).

In general, our church partners will host these camps until the development centers are rebuilt or activities can be relocated to a safe indoor location.

Camp activities focus on five areas:

For the CSP camps, two to three Child Survival Programs are grouped together for efficiency, depending on their geographic location.