Latest update

On August 14th, 2021, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit southwestern Haiti. Close to 50 child development centres, which oversee more than 17,000 children, were destroyed or reported heavy damage. When a disaster strikes, our mission remains the same: to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. Compassion has a long history of serving the children of Haiti and we're making every effort to support our affected church partners and the children in their care.

Low COVID-19 testing rates in Haiti have made it difficult to know the full impacts of the virus in this nation. Since the beginning of the pandemic, local workers have distributed over 230,400 food packs and 93,900 hygiene kits to vulnerable families in Haiti.

Gang violence, rampant kidnappings and fuel shortages in Haiti continue to escalate, exacerbated by the assassination of the President in July 2021. Because of the unrest, the Compassion Haiti National Office asked all staff to work from home from September 2021 to January 2022. Local workers are connecting with children and their families over the phone if it is unsafe for them to meet in person.

Letters between sponsors and children have been delayed because of COVID-19 restrictions and interruptions to courier services because of the gang violence. Local staff have been working hard to process the backlog of letters as best they can, as well as investigate creative solutions to child letter-writing such as digital options.

Watch the video below from our local partners in Haiti to learn more.

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Country update

Crisis Reports from Haiti

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    Flooding in the Northern Region of Haiti (Final Update) 25 May, 2022

    The situation Torrential rains in Haiti have killed two people and left over 500 families searching for a safer place to reside. The rains have caused damage to four local church partners, and almost 376 Compassion assisted families’ homes have been flooded.

    Global Compassion impact Number of local church partners affected: 4
    Number of Compassion assisted children affected: 376

    New information Compassion Haiti is working to support impacted families in any way they can, including hygiene kits and medical care. Children are now returning to normal activities and can attend school again.

    Prayer Thank you for your prayers. Please continue to pray for ongoing peace for impacted families as they rebuild what was lost.

How is Compassion currently operating in Haiti?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    Many Compassion child development centres throughout the country have resumed normal on-site activities, but some centres may still be affected by the August 2021 earthquake and widespread social unrest.

  • Are children receiving letters?

    The majority of letters are delayed in Haiti, which means it may take longer for you to receive letters from your sponsored child. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write! We encourage you to continue sending your sponsored child letters of encouragement and hope.

  • Are gifts being delivered?

    Gifts continue to be distributed in Haiti. Local workers will meet with the child and family to determine the best use of the gift and ensure it meets their greatest need.

How you can pray

Thank you for praying for staff, children and families in Haiti.

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • Pray for God's favour and blessings for the new Disaster Response Team as they serve the children and families in southern Haiti.
  • Pray for healing for local workers recovering from injury or illness.
  • Pray that God would heal Puden.
  • Pray for the safety and protection of our staff, as well as the children and families we serve in Haiti. Gang violence and political instability have made travel to the earthquake affected region difficult. Pray for Compassion and other aid organisations as they deliver supplies and bring support teams to the area in these challenging conditions.
  • Pray for those who have experienced trauma in the 2021 earthquake and in the earthquakes in 2010 and 2016 in Haiti. Ask God to bring comfort and peace to their hearts and minds.
  • Pray that God would bring peace and strength to Haiti’s leaders as they seek to provide direction and wisdom for the nation’s future.
Facing homelessness during a pandemic in Haiti

Facing homelessness during a pandemic in Haiti

For sisters Denise, 21, and Rosandie, 18, a pandemic in their community of Canaan meant they would be facing even more housing difficulties in an already weak infrastructure. Both were living with their older sister, Anita, but financial pressure set in and they were unable to afford rent. The sisters thought they only had one option left.   Read more open_in_new

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Please note: Due to the current pandemic, many centres in Haiti are operating differently to abide by local guidelines and stop the spread of COVID-19. Some are meeting in smaller groups or offering home visits, others have resumed their normal activities.

A snapshot of Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program in Haiti

Compassion’s program is contextualised across countries and communities, as well as age groups.

  • Children aged 1 to 3 receive home-based care.
  • Children aged 3 to 5 visit the Compassion centre for one hour every weekday and three hours on Saturdays.
  • Children aged 6 and older attend the centre for two to four hours after school each day and for four hours on Saturdays.
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Compassion Program Activities in Haiti

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Compassion assisted children in Haiti typically attend program activities at their local child development centre before or after school. Here is an example of what a typical program day looks like for children in Haiti.

8:00am - A time of prayer and devotion and breakfast. A typical breakfast usually consists of eggs, bread or buns and tea.

9:00am - Spiritual lessons, in which children sing songs and learn Bible stories. Children aged three to five are given an illustrated Bible with simple stories. Children aged six to eight receive an illustrated Bible with longer stories. Children aged nine to 14 are given a complete Bible. Students over the age of 15 receive a study Bible.

10:30am - Break time, when children can play in a safe environment and develop friendships.

11:00am - Social-emotional lessons ranging from conflict resolution to developing healthy self-esteem. Children often come from challenging home environments and are taught social and personal skills.

12:00pm - Lunch and social time. Children often receive sandwiches, juice or milk, or a hot meal of spaghetti or rice, beans, vegetables and meat. There is a special nutritional program for malnourished children.

1:00pm - Health lessons, in which children learn practical health and hygiene lessons, including how to prevent malaria and HIV.

2:00pm - Letter writing and career planning. Older children work with local staff to identify their strengths and interests and set goals for their future.

Children are also invited to attend spiritual retreats during Carnival and Easter. Older students can choose vocational training classes, including painting, crafts, sewing, computer, music, photography, videography, cooking and foreign language classes. Parents and caregivers are offered income generation activities and parenting seminars each week.

The greatest needs impacting children living in poverty in Haiti

52%

of people live in poverty

38%

of people can’t read and write

Haiti rose up against French colonial control in the early 19th century to become the first independent Caribbean state. But it has struggled with dictators, coups and corruption ever since.

The government is facing not only the COVID-19 crisis but an energy crisis caused by a choked supply of diesel imports and a lack of a long-term energy strategy. While blackouts and grid disruptions are not new to Haiti, the timing means that hospitals battling COVID-19 are relying on buckets of water in the hallways and can’t use their generators for electricity. What's more, Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated during a raid on his home on 7th July.

This instability comes against a backdrop of historical destruction caused by earthquakes, floods and cyclones that regularly sweep the nation.

Haiti’s infrastructure is unable to cope with devastating events like the Port-a-Prince earthquake in 2010—and the subsequent cholera epidemic that killed more than 7000 people—and Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Thousands have lost their lives and millions more have had their homes and livelihoods destroyed. These regular events make it very difficult for the nation to build the infrastructure it needs—hospitals, roads, schools and so on—to bring its people out of poverty.

Over half the population lives in poverty, with 40 per cent unemployed. Almost one-quarter of infants have low birth weight, and most people living in rural areas lack access to basic needs such as clean water and sanitation facilities.

Many of the nation’s children live on the streets, forced into prostitution, begging and crime to survive.

Yet the Church is rising again and again in response, meeting children’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs—providing them and their families with the immediate and long-term support they need to get back to their feet.

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Stories from Compassion around the world

14 Mar, 2018

Why Do My Sponsored Child's Letters Sound the Same?

It can be disappointing if your sponsored child hasn’t responded to your questions or even mentioned the letter you sent them. Here’s why this could be happening, plus handy tips to prevent it. .. Read more

07 Sep, 2016

10 Eye-Opening Photos of Classrooms In the Developing World

Most classroom in Australia look fairly similar. Although they might be decorated differently, you can pretty much expect to see the same things—some desks, a board, and maybe some computers. But what about the classrooms of children in Compassion’s programs? We all know education varies across the world, but so do the classrooms! .. Read more

06 Aug, 2015

3 Children Share Why They Love Receiving Letters

Supakan’s home has only one piece of furniture: a cupboard made from cardboard and glass. It’s where her family keeps their favourite, most precious belongings—like Supakan’s letters from her sponsor. Why are letters so valuable to sponsored children? We asked three children from around the world to share why their sponsor’s letters mean so much... Read more