Haiti Earthquake Relief

Funding required: $178,600

This project will help: 15,654 children

Estimated completion date: April 2022

Country: Haiti

Executive summary

August 14, 2021 was a day Haitians will never forget. A 7.2-magnitude earthquake destroyed their homes, took the lives of their loved ones and stole their livelihoods. Suddenly, life as they knew it had disappeared—and was replaced by chaos, grief and a long road ahead of rebuilding all they’d lost.

The mass destruction left 129,953 people homeless, 12,268 people injured and 2,207 people killed—creating an urgent humanitarian crisis for 650,000 people, including 260,000 children. Compassion Haiti was not spared from this tragedy. Forty-six church partners and 15,654 families were impacted. The homes of more than 12,000 Compassion beneficiary children were severely damaged or destroyed by the world’s deadliest natural disaster of 2021.

Not only did these vulnerable boys and girls lose homes and family members, but they also lost much of their innocence, security and hope. Once their basic physical needs are met—like food, water, housing and schooling—there is much emotional and psychological healing to be done in their little hearts and minds so they can overcome this tragedy and move forward with life.

Families in Haiti need both medical attention and mental health care to help their bodies, hearts and minds recover from the trauma. Your support is vital to provide Compassion children and their parents with medical care, post-trauma psychological support and child protection training so they can gain strength and hope as they begin to rebuild their lives.

With your generous financial investment, ready-and-willing church partners will be able to conduct mobile clinics in the affected areas to assess the well-being of 300 children and their parents, and provide them with primary medical care, including medications and follow-up visits.

Your gift will also allow 15,564 beneficiaries and their parents, as well as 1,346 Compassion centre staff, to access post-traumatic care so they can start the healing process and begin to return to helpful daily routines, like school and work. Twelve psychologists will be hired to carry out psychological assessments, create psychological care plans and provide emotional care from a biblical perspective. Compassion will also partner with three organizations to help ensure families get the care they need.

Did you know?

With their homes destroyed, thousands of Haitian families are sleeping outside, exposing them to hazards and denying them basic hygiene and sanitation. This health intervention is part of Compassion’s larger disaster recovery plan to lift beneficiaries out of crisis—including distributing emergency food kits, building temporary shelters and creating income-generation activities for caregivers.

Summary

Background

Medical care in Haiti has always been a challenge and has only been exacerbated by recurrent natural disasters. According to the World Health Organization in 2013, Haiti had only 25 physicians and 11 nurses per 100,000 citizens. The national health system simply cannot provide adequate health services, especially for those living in rural regions. The August 2021 earthquake destroyed thousands of hospitals and health centres, further crippling the system.

It seems Haiti just can’t catch a break as its citizens have faced successive political, social and economic crises. The latest earthquake has severely deteriorated the mental health of adults and children alike. It’s hard to cope when life feels like a never-ending uphill battle. Sadly, child abuse surges in the aftermath of life-altering natural disasters and trauma.

The need

Vulnerable people often remain at risk if nothing is done to help them. Indeed, when crisis humanitarian care is delayed or not forthcoming, the mental and physical effects can multiply and destroy even more lives. When families’ resources, community and support systems, incomes and mental health have been depleted, they have nothing left with which to start over. Hope remains elusive if no one will extend a hand to lift them out of their impossible situations. Such is the case in the aftermath of the August 2021 earthquake in Haiti.

Compassion Haiti is committed to rescuing these children from further harm and trauma by providing loving, caring physical and mental support. Your generosity and compassion will equip 46 local churches to extend God’s hope and healing to 15,654 children and parents who have lost everything and are reeling from the tragedy and devastation.

This intervention will address the next step of Compassion’s disaster recovery plan: to provide mobile medical care and medicine to families, and to offer psychological post-trauma healing so families can find hope in Christ and strength to start anew. Together with trained health workers, 12 psychologists will lead therapeutic, creative activities for the children—including focus groups, games, educational materials, art, music and drama. For families requiring extra attention due to acute stress, personalized post-traumatic care will be offered. Parents will participate in child protection training to gain an understanding of healthy relationships and how to stop the cycle of abuse.

Compassion will partner with three local organizations to ensure children are receiving the best holistic care possible. Child Evangelism Fellowship will focus on spiritual health by training staff to encourage the children in their faith journey as they wade through the aftermath of the earthquake. Haitian House of Psychology will provide counselling, psychological care and recreational activities to assist children who are suffering and grieving. World Vision will empower Compassion staff with positive discipleship training and child protection advocacy.

What your gift will do

Your gift will provide vital physical and psychological care to 15,654 children and their families and 1,346 centre staff:

  • Physical health intervention
    • Primary medical care for affected children and their families through mobile clinics
      • Medicine distribution
      • Clean water purification
      • Transportation and logistics
  • Mental health intervention
    • Psychosocial activities for children, parents and staff
    • Post-trauma care from 12 psychologists
      • Materials
      • Transportation, meals and fees
    • 2-day psychosocial retreat
  • Family support/Start-up funds for 50 orphaned children
  • Child protection awareness training for youth, parents and staff
    • Transportation, lodging, meals, educational materials and salaries

Logistics

  • Local contribution: As Haiti is focused on recovering from another earthquake, there will be no local financial contribution.
  • Handling of funds: Compassion Haiti will collaborate with the 46 partner churches to oversee and administer the budget.
  • Follow-up: Families who need it will receive ongoing psychological, emotional and medical care from trained professionals and Compassion staff as they heal from trauma and seek to rebuild their lives.
80%

No less than 80 per cent of your donation will be used for program activities and a maximum of 20 per cent for fundraising and administration. If we exceed our funding goal for the initiative shown, the remaining funds will be used to fund other programs where the need is greatest.