June 30 2011

SOS Children's Villages pushes for Haiti

30/06/2011 - Advocacy co-workers of SOS Children's Villages in Brussels and in New York have teamed up with other NGOs to urge international organisations to continue with their efforts for the redevelopment of Haiti.

Photo: Sophie Preisch
At the SOS Children's Village in Santo, Haiti - Photo: Sophie Preisch
In Brussels, SOS Children’s Villages International teamed up with Plan Europe and World Vision to write an article for the May issue of "The Parliament" (issue 328, p. 15-16; see PDF file for downloading in the right column), an EU-political magazine that targets Members of the European Parliament and provides news and analysis on current EU debates. The article calls for the EU to engage more systematically with the new Haitian government, especially when it comes to the protection of the most vulnerable. It highlights that this process requires the participation of the population in decision-making, as well as better aid mechanisms to ensure good transition from relief to development.

Previously, the three organisations, in addition to the CBM (Christoffel-Blindenmission), had addressed a letter to Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative and Vice-President of the European Commission, regarding the situation of children in Haiti. In a letter of response, Catherine Ashton wrote to the NGOs, showing a willingness of EU decision-makers to cooperate at the highest level for Haiti.

Advocacy for Haiti from New York

Simultaneously with her colleague in Brussels, our New York representative teamed up with a consortium of 14 NGOs, including Save the Children, World Vision and Care, to direct a letter to the UN Security Council on the plight of children and families in Haiti (see PDF file for downloading in the right column). In this letter, the NGOs call for urgent resettlement plans for all those people who continue to be displaced, the protection of the most vulnerable groups (including women and children), and a renewed demonstration of support from the international community to the building and strengthening of government capacities.

We know from our colleagues in the field, that the situation for children in Haiti is still critical. Max Lamesch, who is currently working  for SOS Children's Villages in Haiti, points out that "not only is the situation of women and children in camps dire, but there is an increasing number of abandoned children and the conditions of 'orphanages' are inhumane". Through letters like these, addressed to highly influential decision-makers, SOS Children’s Villages can take the experience from the ground straight up to the EU and the United Nations.