Haiti - Humanitarian : Terre des hommes is committed to helping 2,000 children - HaitiLibre.com : Haiti news 7/7





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Haiti - Humanitarian : Terre des hommes is committed to helping 2,000 children
20/12/2011 07:39:58

Haiti - Humanitarian : Terre des hommes is committed to helping 2,000 children
Whilst most of the emergency organisations are closing down their missions, Terre des hommes (Tdh) continues to work for the development of this country by supporting the authorities and the local associations. Present for over twenty years in Haiti, the main Swiss organisation for child relief had to respond early this year to the terrible cholera epidemic that has caused more than 6,800 fatalities up to date. Tdh got down to the job of informing some 55,000 people about the risks of contamination and the ways of protecting oneself against it, distinguishing between rumours and reality, and by distributing to families the soap, pails and tablets of chorine with which they can safeguard themselves at home. Tdh, together with other Swiss organisations, also established a medical centre for nursing cholera patients.

8,000 boys and girls went to consultations about nutrition, and 2,600 of them were given treatment. Advice, complementary foods or hospitalisation were suited to the degree of the children’s malnutrition. Near to the epicentre of the earthquake, every month a unit for nutritional stabilisation treats dozens of children suffering from severe malnutrition with complications. In the Department of the South, another similar unit completes the support which provides Tdh with six health centres for outpatient care. The teams continue with bringing information to the communities; they show good practices and offer recipes that ensure a balanced diet for the young children, and tell about how to prevent diarrhoea and other childish ailments.

Today, Terre des hommes perseveres – and in the coming years, too

For the coming year, Terre des hommes is committed to helping some 2,000 child victims of negligence, abuse or violence through an appropriate individual follow-up. The Swiss NGO also collaborates with fifty private institutions accommodating nearly 2,000 children. About one third of the young residents were separated from their families during the earthquake on 12th January 2010. "Many of them suffer from emotional deprivation and are at risk of various sorts of abuse; others sometimes disappear into the market of international adoptions or into a ring of traffickers" , deplores David Dandres, Tdh’s person in charge of humanitarian aid in Haiti. "We do our very best to get the youngsters back in touch with members of their own families. More than 380 children have been able to find their relatives, and a further 80 will soon be back with their families."

Tdh also strengthens the collective or community ways of protection, in view of the weakness of the Haitian state system, especially after the earthquake. In connection with places for training, communities, sports or leisure clubs, Tdh helps the personnel and activity organisers to protect the young generation best, for example by sounding the alert in a case of violence or abuse. Tdh helps local associations to get organised and be effective, with the aim of strengthening Haitian civil society. 1,800 kids take part each week in organised and psychosocial activities to consolidate their self-respect and their confidence in others. In parallel, mothers are told about the importance of breast-feeding and illness prevention; young single mothers get advice and necessary support. Tdh directly helps the most vulnerable families by setting up income-generating activities. "In proportion to the extent of the needs, Terre des hommes is far from abandoning the Haitians", concludes David Dandres.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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