13/01/10 - An earthquake of the magnitude of 7.0 on the Richter scale hit Haiti on Tuesday evening, destroying many buildings and killing hundreds, possibly thousands of people. The epicenter of the quake was just 10 kilometres from the capital Port-au-Prince. So far, co-workers of SOS Children's Villages Haiti could not be reached for a situation report.
Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world and has a long history of suffering destructive natural disasters and political turmoil. SOS Children's Villages has been very well set up in Haiti for many years and will do everything in its power to help those who need assistance most urgently, with a special focus on the children. SOS Children's Villages had run an emergency relief effort in Haiti as recently as late 2008, after the country had been hit by four severe tropical storms in short succession.
The main UN building in Port-au-Prince has also collapsed, and although pledges for immediate assistance have been made by the United States, the World Bank and many others, it is not known at present how a recovery will be organised.Due to the total breakdown of communication lines, the extent to which SOS Children's Villages in Haiti have been affected is not known at this point, but there is no doubt that immediate aid as well as long-term support will require a large amount of funds.
The National SOS Children's Village Association was founded in 1979; the first SOS Children's Village was completed in 1982. At present there are two SOS Children's Villages in Haiti, at Santo and Cap Haitien, two SOS Youth Facilities, two SOS Schools, two SOS Vocational Training Centres and four SOS Social Centres.
Some 570 children and young people are currently being cared for in SOS facilities, more than 2,600 people receive support through our family strengthening programmes. More than 1,800 children and young people are receiving an education at two SOS Hermann Gmeiner Schools and two SOS Vocational Training Centres.
SOS Children's Villages will he establishing an Emergency Relief Fund, 100% of all donations will go towards the emergency programs to ease the suffering and care for the children's and families in Haiti.
Please donate to our emergency programs today.