March 10, 2020
Ten years after the deadliest natural disaster in Haiti’s history, vulnerable families still struggle to survive. Faced with decades of political, economic, and inequalities—Haiti remains the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
“Our life was so bad,” Venise said. “It’s becoming easier for me now.” Along with her husband and their two sons, Bilensley and Billy, Venise’s family lived in a home they rented in the city of Delmas, Haiti. With an income of less than $2 per day, Venise and her husband worked hard to cover school costs and provide for their boys.
But then one Tuesday evening at 4:53 p.m., everything changed.
A magnitude 7.0 earthquake shook the island nation in 2010, leaving more than 200,000 people dead. Venise and her family survived, but their home was destroyed when it collapsed in the quake. Schools, businesses, and countless other buildings were reduced to rubble.
More than 800,000 Haitians were instantly homeless. Widespread devastation forced families and children into makeshift tent cities throughout Port-au-Prince. Venise and her family found their way into a tent made of bed sheets and tarp, propped up with sticks, and anchored by bits of concrete. The family spent months living in a tent before deciding to relocate to Titanyen, a village north of Haiti’s capital.
Poverty, disease, violence, and catastrophes often put immense pressure on families, jeopardizing their ability to stay together. With your help, we’re able to partner with local churches and the Haitian government to develop family-based care services in Haiti.
Access to life’s essentials makes a big difference for struggling families. That’s why, through our Family Preservation and Empowerment work around the world, we provide vocational training and financial assistance families can use for items like nutritious food, health care, and school fees—tools to help them become self-sufficient.
On land sanctioned for earthquake survivors, Venise’s family built a small, simple structure near other families that also lost homes, loved ones, and hope. Faced with starting over after the quake, Venise was determined to build on their new beginning. She joined our Family Empowerment program and enrolled in vocational and economic training. Using her new skills, Venise opened a small business selling charcoal and food—and Bilensley and Billy returned to school, where they’ve discovered a love for spelling and art.
“There are still many people who have a bad life in Haiti,” Venise said. “Families and single mothers in Haiti need help making a better life for themselves and their children.”
Your support positively impacts the lives of those we serve. Thank you for your generous gifts that help strengthen families and protect vulnerable children.