Haiti – December 20 2021

Opening of two child-friendly spaces in Haiti

On 26-27 November 2021, the emergency project team opened two child-friendly spaces. One is located in La Savane in the town of Les Cayes and the other in Marceline in the town of Camp-Perrin.

Two child-friendly spaces will  effectively respond to the needs of children affected by the earthquake through psychosocial support. In addition, they will serve as recovery support for the most affected individuals and families, including participants of the SOS Family Care program in Les Cayes run by SOS Children's Villages in Haiti.

60 girls and 32 boys in La Savane and 70 girls and 43 boys in Marceline attended the launch of the project. Social workers and psychologists present at the event took the opportunity to establish first contact with their parents. The parents also need psychological support and adequate knowledge of the concepts that will be discussed with children in child-friendly spaces.

"I am very happy to participate in such a project. I was seriously starting to worry about my 9-year-old daughter getting startled at the slightest noise. I felt overwhelmed because I didn't have a solution.  At one point, I thought  I would have to take it forever. She is such a pretty girl for whom I really suffered in childbirth. Today, I am reassured. I can sleep with my head rested. My daughter will have the support that her case requires," says Adeline Jacques, a mother of 4.

 According to their age, children were divided into small groups: 4 to 7, 8 to 11 and 12 to 15 years old. They could enjoy communicative, creative, recreational and sports activities organized in the courtyards near the child-friendly spaces.

"I am very happy with the establishment of this space for discussion and psychosocial support for children and adolescents, especially for the victims of the earthquake of  14 August 2021. Parents can now breathe a sigh of relief. Traumatized children have a space for entertainment and professionals they can confide in. I applaud this project with both hands, " says Kervens Jean, member of the child-friendly space of the La Savane committee.

The two launches took place in a festive and warm atmosphere. Children love knowing that there is a space available to them where they can express themselves freely, have fun, play with their friends and make new ones. SOS Children's Villages in Haiti is committed to providing a learning and entertainment space where children can recover emotionally and develop thanks to multiple educational activities.