Latest update

Haiti has reported 8624 cases of COVID-19 and at least 221 related deaths, although health care workers warn that the numbers could be much higher. Many Haitians have a deep distrust of government and public health authorities and prefer to self-treat at home. Additionally, clinics and hospitals were strained even before the pandemic, as many Haitians need care for chronic health problems such as malnourishment, diabetes and hypertension. The government has imposed a curfew from midnight to 4am and requires masks to be worn in public. Students across the country returned to classes in August.

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COVID-19 in Haiti

How is Compassion currently operating in Haiti?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    All centres in Haiti have begun a phased reopening, while abiding by local guidelines for group sizes and social distancing. Staff members continue to call and check in on families, and in some communities they are able to visit children while obeying social distancing guidelines.

    Local church partners have been able to deliver 162,427 food packs and 92,192 hygiene kits and have provided medical assistance to 12,756 people.

  • 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. What a joyful day it will be when those letters are delivered!

  • Are gifts being delivered?

    Gifts continue to be distributed in Haiti. Staff members have been given the option to disburse monetary gifts to caregivers, where appropriate. This applies to family gifts and child gifts (including birthday and final gifts). Families may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet family needs. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognising that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

How you can pray

Thank you for praying for children and families in Haiti who have been impacted by COVID-19—and the local staff and churches who continue to serve them in difficult circumstances.

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • God would heal Jean’s kidneys from what is causing them to fail and give the doctors wisdom on how to treat him best.
  • God would give Samy peace and comfort as Samy’s father continues to recover from the stroke he had so that he can continue caring for his family.
  • Comfort and peace for Frantzdina as the doctors try to treat and help her and her mother.
  • The staff and doctors would be able to find a diagnosis and treat whatever is causing Beverly to be in pain.
  • Complete healing for Mrs Louis as she desires to continue to care and serve the children and their families.
  • God would restore peace and protect the children, families, and staff in the Cité Soleil area.
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

Crisis Reports from Haiti

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    Violence in Port-au-Prince, Haiti (Crisis Update) 23 Sep, 2020

    The situation

    The incidents have become more frequent and more violent.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: 1 Number of Compassion assisted children affected: 146

    New information

    One caregiver was injured as she tried to escape. She received medical care and is recovering. Many of the affected families have relocated to other neighborhoods. The local church partners and national staff are monitoring the situation closely. Some families have received assistance with trauma counselling, food and hygiene kits, as well as household items such as bed covers, mattresses and more.

    Prayer

    Please continue to pray for the safety of the children, families, church partners and staff in Port-au-Prince.

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    Violence in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti 08 Sep, 2020

    The situation

    The community of Bel Air (one of the poorest in Port-Au-Prince) has been sieged with violence from armed groups attacking people, burglarising, and burning homes. Hundreds of people have fled the neighborhood to find safety elsewhere.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: 0 Number of Compassion assisted children affected: 42

    New information

    There are five local church partners (HA0355, HA0741, HA0751, HA0763 and HA0806) in the impacted neighborhood. They have been supporting affected families with food, medicine, counselling and more. Many of them have temporarily moved since their homes were damaged or destroyed and/or they are fearful of the violence.

    Prayer

    Please pray for the safety of the children, families, church partners and staff in Port-au-Prince.

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    Tropical Storm Laura in Haiti (Crisi Update) 01 Sep, 2020

    The situation

    The South East, Artibonite, and the Central plateau were most affected. It continues to rain in many areas.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: 17 Number of Compassion assisted children affected: 1130

    New information

    Sadly, one sibling and one caregiver of a Compassion assisted child passed away due to the storm. The local churches continue to assess and monitor the situation. Many children and their families have damaged homes (e.g. roofs), homes and farms flooded, and cattle missing. They are being supported as needs are determined.

    Prayer

    Please pray for the safety and provision for children, families and church partners in Haiti.

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    Tropical Storm Laura in Haiti 23 Aug, 2020

    The situation

    Heavy rainfall from Tropical Storm Laura caused flash flooding, mudslides, damage to crops and farm animals, as well as many damaged homes. The Southeastern and Artibonite areas of Haiti have been most affected.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: unknown Number of Compassion assisted children affected: unknown

    New information

    The National Disaster and Risk Mitigation Team is monitoring the situation. Local church partners and staff are assessing impact to families.

    Prayer

    Please pray for the safety and provision for children, families and church partners in Haiti.

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Please note: Due to the current pandemic, most child development centres in Haiti are temporarily closed. Our local church partners continue to meet the urgent needs of the children through home-based care.

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

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.

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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