Haiti - 6 months after the earthquake

On 12th of January 2010 an earthquake with the magnitude of 7,2 of the Richter scale killed about 230.000 people in Haiti. The epicentre was close to the overpopulated capital of Port-au-Prince and destroyed the city totally. 3 Mio. people are affected, from that 2 Mio. persons are displaced and 540.000 live in camps.

HOPE'87 in cooperation with Jugend Eine Welt - Don Bosco Austria, supported the poor country immediately with an emergency medical kit including bandages, medicin and 1 Mio. water purification tablets (donated by Apotheker helfen e.V. Germany). The sudden natural disaster left the victims without shelter, food and money. The most vulnerable are the children - traumatized by the shock and loss of relatives and friends. HOPE'87 started an "education in emergency" intervention for 2.500 children funded by UNESCO Foundation - Education for Children in Need. The boys and girls from two schools have been supported by professional psychologists with therapeutic games, painting, singing, animation to overcome the deep wounds in their hearts. Additionally, the school kids got one warm meal a day to supplement the poor nutritional situation. The walls of the school premises got rebuilt to ensure security against robbers and gangs walking throug the streets.

At the beginning of July, Special Ambassador Ute Ohoven from the UNESCO Foundation and Secretary General Robert Ottitsch from HOPE'87 made a monitoring trip to Haiti. The successfull emergency intervention in the two schools is in the process to finish. Also the transitional shelters (tents and bracks of wood) for the school classes are set up. But there is a long way back to normal life. About 540.000 people are still living in tents or provisional plastic and wood plank shelters. The streets of the capital are daily filled with cleared rubble and many buildings are still a heap of stones. The key constraint of reopening 5.000 schools remains debris and rubble clearance and transitional reconstruction of school sites. Schools also suffer from a lack of funds particularly to pay teacher's salaries. Parents have been unable to pay school fees since the earthquake struck. The school attendance is falling... A new flash appeal to support the victims has been launched.