Community volunteers working on a drainage ditch
On 12th January, 2010 a 7.0 earthquake rocked Haiti, killing more than 250,000 and leaving more than 1.3 million residents homeless. EDV responded to the Haiti earthquake in early June 2010, and we are working with Hands Together to Defend the Children Orphanage. The orphanage houses, feeds and cares for 47 children.
The earthquake destroyed the building where the orphanage was previously located, forcing the group to move to a rented property which was affected by severe flooding.
As there is very little working sanitation in the area, the mud also contained human faeces. Many of the children do not have shoes, so there was a risk of them contracting a waste borne illness. The standing water also provided a haven for mosquitoes which carry malaria and dengue.
Working with our partner organisation, GrassRoots United, we involved community members and international volunteers to dig a large drain which has stopped the flooding and relieved the health problems that had been afflicting the children.
While we’re happy to have helped protect the health of these children, flooding is only one of the challenges they face.
Since the earthquake the orphanage’s 47 children have been housed in one tent and two small rooms. Many of the kids also lack basic items like shoes and appropriate clothing. We see this drainage project as the first step in a larger initiative which will provide longer-term solutions for these vulnerable children and the powerful group of community members who take care of them.
To learn more about this project or donate, please visit www.EDVolunteers.org.
For more on our partners here in Haiti, visit them online at www.grassrootsunited.org