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Haiti - Social : 3381 children and young of the street supported by PU-AMI
02/09/2011 10:18:56

Haiti - Social : 3381 children and young of the street supported by PU-AMI
The base Jamaica is located opposite the airport of Port-au-Prince. Young people between 10 and 17 years on average, are are gathered here to survive. The bases are makeshift shelters where children are organized into micro-society often led by a leader who imposes the rules of life.

Première Urgence – Aide Médicale Internationale (PU-AMI) (First Emergency - International Medical Aid) is active in 17 bases of children of the agglomeration of Port-au-Prince since 2004.

These young are called Leon (aka Jumeau), Michel, Islande or Marie-France. Their stories, which led them to live on the streets, often tragically likeness: abuse, death of parents, very poor family... A relationship of trust was established between the medical teams and educational of PU-AMI and young people, commonly known as children and young of the street. They have collected their testimonies.

Marie France is 21 years old, 2 children 7 and 1 years old and lives on the street for 10 years. "I do not like the street but because of my miserable situation, I have to live in this mess. My mother could not afford to help me go to school. I know the importance of the school. I dreamed of becoming a business woman but life does not allow me. I hope one day God will speak in the heart of the country's leaders so that finally I can out of this situation. My greatest pain is to see my children living the same tragedy."

Michel is a beneficiary of the program Children and Young of the Streets of PU-AMI since 2006. He begs and cleans the the windows of the cars of the faithful of Sacré cœur. He is young and intelligent. Parishioners helped it to integrate a Presbyterian school. His mother is still alive, she lives near Léogâne, a small town an hour's drive from the capital. With his odd jobs, he can buy clothes, food and bring some money to his mother. He visits his mother a few hours each weekend.

Islande is 19 and lives on the streets for five years. An orphan since early childhood, she was raised by her aunt, she was victim of maltreatment. She had to leave this hell home. Islande says that she does not want to stay on the street. Her greatest desire is to find its family : "If my mother was there, I would never have taken the path of the street, because here I am a victim of all evil. I would like rebuild my life, learn a trade so I can ensure my own survival."

Today a team composed of four nurses, three doctors and five streets teachers regularly ply the bases to provide care to nearly 3400 young people but also to lend a sympathetic ear and take care of their health and psychological state. Some of them most seriously affected are referred to hospitals and supported entirely by PU-AMI.

The priority for Premiere Urgence - Aide Médicale Internationale remains the support of these young people but also their integration. Placed in the margins of society, they are very few local structures to accommodate them. The partnerships with local organizations are rare, but without their involvement, it will be difficult to counter the phenomenon and to see a better life for these children and young people.

HL/ HaitiLibre / PU-AMI

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