Haiti is a dangerous place for children. With 500,000 children living in camps and many others living in slums, all lacking the protection of social and police services, children are under continued threat of exploitation and abuse. L’Albero della Vita provides health education and care to children in need through our school health programs to help children stay healthy and well-nourished.

January 12, 2016 marks 6 years since a catastrophic earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.3, struck Haiti. The biggest earthquake the region had recorded in 200 years, left more than 1.6 million people homeless, and resulted in an immense humanitarian crisis. Shattering Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, and neighboring cities, more than 230,000 were killed and nearly 400,000 homes and 5,000 schools destroyed or damaged.

Of all the nations in the Western Hemisphere, none has faced greater challenges to improve the lives of its children than Haiti. In addition to its poor development indicators, Haiti is the country where people dramatically live, poverty affects the well-being of children whose health is already compromised by food insecurity and inadequate access to basic health care. We advocate for state recognition and more resources for the country’s growing network of community-run schools.

The project aims at solving the lack of specific training for the staff working at the child reception centre, Kay Pe’ Giuss, opened by Fraternità Francescana Missionaria in 2013 within the Waf Jeremie slum, in Port-au-Prince.

The facilities consists of 10 coloured stone houses hosting today 100 orphan children aged between 0 and 12. These children are orphans because they lost their parents due to AIDS or because their mother passed away during childbirth or of a violent death. The centre also hosts children with severely-ill parents, who therefore cannot take care of them. In order to guarantee the centre’s proper management, a total of 50 people work there with different functions, going from teachers to cooks, from janitors to cleaners.

The staff centre takes care of hosted children’s basic needs. Yet, they have not received any specific training enabling them to help these children develop skills, taking into account the traumas they went through during their short life.

Since 2014, L’Albero della Vita has worked with local communities and organizations to design Sponsorship programs for kids. Targeted to help children from early childhood to early adulthood, our programs work to make a healthy and safe environment where children can learn and grow.

Our programs designed for primary school-aged kids work to transform students into lifelong learners by building strong curriculums and passionate teachers. Our work with adolescents focuses on that challenging transition between childhood and adulthood, helping ensure it’s a positive one by teaching them money, job and relationship skills.

We also provide health education and care to children in need through our school health programs to help children stay healthy, well-nourished and in school.

Thanks to the generous support from our community of sponsors, these essential programs in Haiti continue to give children a healthy start and the opportunity to learn, protecting them from harm along the way.

Beneficiaries: 50 operators working at the Centre of the Child, 100 orphan or abandoned children aged between 0 and 12 that are hosted at the Centre of the Child.