More than eight months after an earthquake devastated Haiti, ChildFund’s support for the country’s most vulnerable children continues apace.
In our work through CBM and the Centre d’Education Speciale (CES), we are seeing signs of progress as children return to school and families adapt new routines. Much work remains amid Haiti’s decimated infrastructure.
Yet, there are bright spots. Day care centers for children with injuries and disabilities are operating in six hard-hit areas around Port-Au-Prince. Children attending the centers now have access to therapy, follow-up care and referrals to other health professionals when needed.
Continuing care is especially important for children with epilepsy to ensure regular access to medication. Since last March, a pediatrician and a neurologist have visited one of the centers once a week. Since May a speech therapist has been available twice a week.
In addition, CES has been able to open its doors to other children without disabilities yet in need of a safe haven. Six-year-old Lovely was a student of the College Mixte Evangelique d’Haiti, which collapsed during the earthquake. She lost many friends.
Lovely’s mother Evna reports that her daughter has made academic progress at the CES center despite the sad circumstances following the earthquake. During those terrifying moments, Evna and Lovely ran out of the house and spent all day in the street.
Lovely’s father used to have a little shop, but all of his merchandise was stolen after the quake. Evna, who had worked as a street vendor, had to stop her commerce activities and devote all of her time to taking care of her three children.
The opening of the child center has provided a safe place for the children to play and learn while Evna and her husband find work and earn money for food and necessities.
It is a hard existence but Lovely and her family have hope for better days.