Haiti & the 30HF: Two years after the Quake

BY 30 HOUR FAMINE TEAM

On January 12, 2010, a massive earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti, killing more than 200,000 people and devastating an already struggling economy. An estimated 1.5 million people were left homeless and today–just two days before the two year anniversary of the quake– we celebrate the many accomplishments, while looking ahead at what’s left to be done.

Capital: Port-au-Prince

Population: 9.45 million

Language: French 10% (official), Creole 90% (official)

Religion: Christianity, Voodoo

Ethnic groups: Approximately 95% of Haitians are descendents of West African slaves, remaining 5% are mulatto

Poverty line: 80% of Haitians live below the poverty line

How did World Vision respond to the 2010 earthquake?

In the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake, World Vision was at work providing aid and assistance to millions affected. Here are a few highlights:

Water and Sanitation:

  • Provided more than 610 million liters of clean drinking water to hundreds of thousands of people in Port-au-Prince.
  • Repaired community wells and constructed over 720 latrines and 600 showers in displacement camps.

Education:

  • Trained school directors in child psychology, helping them create a positive learning environment for children affected emotionally by the earthquake.

Emergency Response:

  • Distributed medical supplies to hospitals and food, clothing, hygiene kits and other relief items to displaced people.

Child Protection and Family Support:

  • Established 22 Child-Friendly Spaces that provided over 7,700 displaced children with a safe place to play and begin emotional recovery.
  • Identified over 1,042 children who were separated from their families; providing them with care while working to reunite them with surviving relatives.
  • Coordinated psychological support for children suffering emotional distress as a result of the earthquake.

Shelter:

  • Complications of land ownership and local politics delayed an already difficult task of finding housing for those without shelter. Although many still live in camps, progress has been made and nearly14,000 people live in safer transitional shelters thanks in part to World Vision projects.

CULTURE:

Food: Haitian cuisine is based on Creole and French cooking styles.  There is a strong pepper flavoring that sets Haitian food apart from other islands.  The average Haitian diet is based on rice, corn, millet, yam, and beans.  Because of the tropical Caribbean climate, tropical fruits grow in abundance.

Activity: Homemade kites are a great afternoon craft and activity in Haitian culture.

Sports: Haitians love soccer and play whenever they can.

World Vision’s Work:

World Vision has been doing development work in Haiti for more than 30 years. Before the earthquake hit and still today, World Vision is committed to partnering with the Haitian people to create long term, sustainable development within communities. While emergency relief from the quake still continues, World Vision continues to work in many communities throughout the country. Here are some highlights of the work the 30 Hour Famine funds help support!

Food and Agriculture:

  • Planted fruit trees.
  • Distributed seeds, plantain cuttings, and livestock to families, providing food and a source of income.

Health Care:

  • Supported 14 public and private hospitals in Haiti with urgently needed medical supplies.
  • Established 17 health clinics to serve displacement camps in Haiti.
  • Responded to more than 54,000 visits to health centers, providing critical health, hygiene, and nutrition services.

Education:

  • Assisted students with scholarships and provided tutoring to help them stay in school.

FUN FACT:

Transportation: The number one form of transportation in Haiti is a “Tap Tap”.  These vehicles are buses and trucks transformed into open air seating to accommodate a large amount of people.  Tap Tap’s are known for their wild designs and crazy colors.  They are traveling art in and around the cities.