SOS Children in Haiti

Sponsorship sites in Haiti

Haiti in the West Indies was the first Caribbean state to achieve independence, but decades of environmental degradation, violence, instability and dictatorship have left it as the poorest country in the Americas and in the western hemisphere. Eighty per cent of the population live below the poverty line. Half of the population receives less than 75 per cent of the required daily calorie intake. The diet is poor and consists mainly of rice and beans. Health care is scarce and prohibitively expensive. Infant mortality rates are high and it is estimated that over 25,000 children are orphans as a result of AIDS. Although education is compulsory for children from the ages of seven to fourteen, the lack of classroom space and trained teachers makes it difficult to enforce this law. Only 10 per cent of the country's primary schools are provided by the government; the rest are private.

SOS Children's Villages began its work in Haiti in 1982 when the first village was established in the small rural settlement of Petite Place Cazeau, near the capital of Port-au-Prince. In 2003 the project was handed over to a local church organisation.

SOS Children's communities in Haiti

The second Haitian SOS Children's community is in Santo, about 15 kms from Port-au-Prince. It has19 family houses and a youth house. Each family house has its own garden to grow vegetables and fruit. The community at Santo has a kindergarten and a school, which are attended by over 500 pupils from the neighbourhood. Like the school at Petite Place Cazeau, the school was enlarged in 1998 to include extra classrooms, a laboratory and a computer room.

The SOS Children's site at Cap Haitien is about 6kms from the city of Cap Haitien, the country's only tourist centre and its second most important city. It has 16 family houses, two youth houses, a kindergarten, primary and secondary schools and a vocational training centre and farm. The charity opened the centre in 1997 provides three year courses in car mechanics, engineering, plumbing, carpentry, tailoring and agronomy for up to 250 young apprentices from both the SOS village and the surrounding area.

Over 500 children have a permanent family home in the three SOS Children's communities in Haiti and over 150 teenagers are taking their first steps to independence in the SOS youth houses. More than 900 students are enrolled at the SOS schools and there are around 450 apprentices at the two SOS vocational training centres.

Local Contacts

SOS Children in Haiti:
Association Villages d'Enfants SOS d'Haiti,
13, Rue Jose Marti,
Sacre Coeur,
P.O. Box 966
B.O. Box 1691
Tel and Fax: +509/245 2217
Tel: +509/513 6496
Fax: +509/513 6497

Haiti Child Sponsorship

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