CHILD HOPE INTERNAIONAL
ONE YEAR LATER
Child Hope is a small Christian mission that was on the ground the day the earthquake hit Haiti. Because we are small, we were able to apply nearly 100% of all earthquake funds directly to those in need.
We have a boys home, girls home, school, medical clinic, community feeding program and a vocational training program. When the quake hit, our immediate focus became medical because people in the community needed care. People from all over Port-au-Prince came to our clinic, hobbling in, assisted by a family member, driven in by a tap-tap or friend, even by motorcycle. As collapsed hospitals were not receiving patients, we were one of the only options in Port-au-Prince at the time. We set up a triage that assisted hundreds of injured people. Of the over 500 patients that went through our triage, some missing limbs, others with critical head injuries, broken bones and serious wounds, not a single person died in the clinic.
Next, we began assisting families without food, water and shelter. With completely destroyed homes and nowhere to live, people were desperate. Distributing food, water, tarps and tents to help those who lost homes, we were able to help hundreds who were left with nothing. We counseled and prayed with families who lost loved ones. Our focus remained on helping families get the basic necessities and a place to live.
As tent cities began to sprout up all over Port-au-Prince, a new host of problems began to emerge. Health issues arose as people living so close to each other had no adequate sewage, water and other sanitation necessities. Our clinic expanded to care for the increased needs of the community.
Many schools were destroyed, leaving the children without access to a decent education. At the time, we had a small school for the children at the orphanage that was not harmed in the quake. We decided to expand the school and open it to the children of the community.
Still, tent city problems increased. We got reports of young girls, some as young as 9 and 10 years old, orphaned in the quake, who were being sexually abused at the tent cities. We sought to help by taking more children into our orphanage. Currently, we are trying to raise funds to expand our girls home to assist some of these orphans.
It became evident early on that the tent cities, which were a great immediate assistance for those that lost homes, were becoming a terrible place for people to live. We began using our earthquake relief funds to help people get out of tents and back into homes. We formed construction crews comprised of previously unemployed Haitians to assist in the effort. Over the last year, we have issued grants to people to cover one year’s rent, repaired over 75 homes, built numerous pre-fab wooden homes and assisted with moving expenses for those who wanted to move out of Port-au-Prince and back to their villages.
And the work continues daily. Haiti has a long ways to go before it recovers from the damages of the earthquake on January 12, 2010. But we are seeing progress. Families are being restored. Children are being rescued. Homes are being built. People are beginning to see hope in the midst of a bleak situation. We are committed to helping orphans being abused in tent cities and to getting people out of the tent cities altogether. Unfortunately, our earthquake relief funds will be completely depleted in March 2011. Without additional donations, we will have to discontinue our efforts. If you are able to assist in any way, we would greatly appreciate whatever you can do.
To donate online, click here. To mail in a donation, send it to Child Hope Earthquake Relief Fund, 1225 Coast Village Rd, Ste C, Santa Barbara, Ca 93108 or call us at 888-808-9595. God bless you.