January 12, 2013, marks the third anniversary of a major earthquake that inflicted catastrophe on Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere.
The Salvation Army has been active in Haiti since 1950 and following the earthquake hundreds of thousands of people flooded Salvation Army facilities for food, water, shelter and medical aid.
Today, while Haiti is no longer headline news, The Salvation Army continues to help the Haitians rebuild their lives and their country.
Salvation Army Canada and Bermuda Supports Haiti
In March 2012, the Army expanded its services in Haiti, launching a five-year, $3.6 million Integrated Family Support Project (IFSP), which is funded entirely by The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda.
The Salvation Army’s Integrated Family Support Project (IFSP) has four components:
1. Housing: 260 houses will be built, each housing a minimum of four people. The building process began in November 2012.
2. Vocational training: Vocational training is targeted to 1,000 vulnerable young adults who don’t receive any support from their family.
3. Livelihood support: The Army will support 1,500 vulnerable families. The priority is to help households headed by women, with no husband to provide support, loans so they can start businesses.
4. Agricultural support: It is important for Haiti to be a self-supporting country. By helping poor farmers, the Army will not only improve their quality of life, but support the Haitian economy, which in turn will strengthen their autonomy as a nation.
Says Jodel Pierre, Project Manager: “At the Integrated Family Support Program we not only meet the needs of vulnerable people but support their right to live in a way that puts a sense of dignity within reach.”
Other Salvation Army Projects
• The Salvation Army has operated a health facility in Delmas 2, Port-au-Prince, for 40 years. The clinic building was structurally compromised by the earthquake and condemned. It was leveled to make way for significant rebuilding.
Ground has been broken, foundations have been poured and progress is evident with each day that passes. Construction is expected to be completed in 2014. All buildings will be both hurricane and earthquake resistant.
The larger building will be responsible for the education of more than 1,500 children and accommodate regular services and gatherings.
The smaller building will include SA social service programs and health initiatives.
• The Salvation Army has helped the 20,000 people that settled in the soccer field and park next to its Delmas 2 compound since the day of the earthquake, offering material, emotional, and spiritual support along with medical services via its Port-au-Prince clinic.
As of September 2012, camp residents were relocated through a rental assistance program offered by Concern Worldwide. The Army maintains contact with former residents and continues to support them through projects and support programs.
• The Salvation Army has worked diligently in its response and prevention efforts as it relates to cholera, distributing soap, bleach, cleaning kits, water filters, building latrines and providing other supplies as needed.
Though still present, the incidence of cholera has significantly declined.
• The Salvation Army construction team continues to work diligently to repair and rehabilitate schools outside of the Port-au-Prince area that were damaged by the quake. Five schools are undergoing repair and renovation.
The Army employs local labor and contractors in each community to support its economy and work force.
• The Salvation Army provides meals to children at its 48 schools throughout the country. For some, it is the only meal they receive on a given day.
• Social and emotional support programs partner with psychologists and educational consultants to centre on life-skills development, promote self-worth, creativity and a sense of community. More than 1,000 young people meet three days each week for recreational, cultural and educational activities.
The Salvation Army remains committed to empowering the communities it serves.
*****The above photo is of classroom vocational training.