World Children's Day in Haiti

Children speak. Let's listen to them!

Rachel Opota
Les enfants prennent la parole
UNICEF Haiti/2021/Polyte
09 février 2022

After the earthquake that claimed the lives of more than 2,200 people and injured 12,700 and damaged or destroyed 130,000 homes, over 1,000 schools and 90 health institutions, UNICEF chooses to celebrate World Children's Day in Grand' Anse, Nippes and the South affected by the natural disaster.

The activities were held from 15 to 20 November to continue the advocacy for resource mobilization to assist the victims.

Children and U-reporters took over radio stations in the Great South. Throughout the week, they spoke out child protection issues and respect for children's rights, as well as on how they are surviving the aftermath of the earthquake in their communities.

"I am happy to have hosted these programs because it allowed me to make my voice heard and advocate for the respect of children's rights in this period of the security crisis in the country," said 11-year-old Marvens Destiné, a child journalist from Grand'Anse.

Lara Chlela, la Spécialiste PSEA de l’UNICEF et les U-Reporters animant une émission sur l’exploitation et abus sexuel sur la Radio VPS aux Cayes.
UNICEF Haiti/2021/Seck
Lara Chlela, UNICEF PSEA Specialist and U-Reporters hosting a program on sexual exploitation and abuse on Radio VPS in Les Cayes.

All against sexual exploitation and abuse in the Great South

The earthquake in the Great South has put many of the people affected in a more vulnerable position, exposing them to sexual exploitation and abuse.

Thus, to help communities understand what "Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse" (PSEA) is, the specialist of UNICEF Lara Chlela was invited to a radio program co-presented by U-Reporters in Les Cayes on 18 November on Radio VPS. She encouraged communities to report cases of sexual exploitation and abuse committed by humanitarians by calling 8811 or by sending an email to haiti.cfm@wfp.org or haiti-alerte@unicef.org.

"UNICEF has a Zero Tolerance policy for sexual exploitation and abuse. Do not hesitate to denounce if you are a victim or a witness of a case in your community," Chlela insisted on VPS radio.

 

The earthquake affects us all

L’Ambassadeur de bonne volonté en Haïti, Jean Jean Roosevelt en train de participer à une rencontre virtuelle.
UNICEF Haiti/2021/Seck
The Goodwill Ambassador in Haiti, Jean Jean Roosevelt taking part in a virtual meeting.

On 16 November, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Jean Jean Roosevelt and Chief of Emergency Section at UNICEF Antonio Marro participated in a virtual meeting organized by the Canadian National Committee for UNICEF to discuss the situation prevailing in Haiti’s southern peninsula.

"The earthquake impacts us all psychologically and physically. The earthquake has destroyed or damaged hospitals, schools, houses and has increased the vulnerability of populations. The consequences are huge and this situation hurts me. However, I will continue to sing to give courage and hope to the Haitians," said Jean Jean Roosevelt.

Hope of success

Les élèves de l’école Saint-Michel et Jean Jean Roosevelt satisfait de la discussion qu’ils ont eue ensemble.
© UNICEF/2021/Duples
The students of Saint-Michel and Jean Jean Roosevelt school are satisfied with the discussion they had together.

On 4 October 2021, children in southwestern Haiti returned to school after the earthquake that destroyed and damaged nearly 70% of schools.

UNICEF has already started the construction of 900 temporary classrooms in the three departments of Nippes, Grand’Anse, and South affected by the disaster.

On 17 November, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Jean Jean Roosevelt held a fruitful meeting with students of the Congregationalist School Saint-Michel in Les Cayes, to discuss how the earthquake affected them.

"It was not easy for us to accept that classrooms collapsed after the earthquake. I wondered if I would ever go back to school again. But seeing the Sisters and the other students cleaning up the undestroyed equipment gave me hope. Hope is in us and we will work to pass," said Louisius Marie Fédia, 19, a student at Saint-Michel school.

Louisius Marie Fédia prenant la parole au courant de la discussion que les élèves Saint-Michel ont eu avec Jean Jean Roosevelt aux Cayes.
UNICEF/2021/Duples
Louisius Marie Fédia speaking during the discussion that the Saint-Michel students had with Jean Jean Roosevelt in Les Cayes.

U-Reporters at the forefront of the earthquake response

After the earthquake of 14 August, U-Reporters of Pestel was the first to help the victims and share information with the world about what happened, by sharing videos and photos on social media.

Through these actions, U-Reporters have become role models. In a Facebook Live on 19 November, they shared their experience and best practices with those from Ecuador.

Chardonnières Parenting Club is Stronger Together

Parenting clubs were established to help prevent malnutrition by detecting it early and referring children to outpatient centers for treatment. On 20 November, the Chardonnières Parenting Club welcomed Haitian singer and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador BIC, to discuss the role of women in child nutrition.

L’Ambassade de bonne volonté de l’UNICEF en Haïti discutant avec les membres du club des mères de Chardonnières.
UNICEF Haiti/2021/Opota
The UNICEF Goodwill Embassy in Haiti talking with members of the Chardonnières Mothers Club.

"If your plate doesn't have many colors, it means you're not eating right," BIC tells Chardonnières club members.

Even with the earthquake, women continue to meet twice a month to share good nutrition practices and hold cooking demonstrations.

"Women contribute to allowing children to eat healthily. Each woman can bring passion fruit, oranges, corn, fish, olives, etc. to cook together. Within the club, we’re stronger together," explained Odena Michel, 46, head of Chardonnières club.

Légende : Les membres du club des mères de Chardonnières en train de préparer du jus pour les enfants.
UNICEF Haiti/2021/Opota
Members of the Chardonnières mothers' club are preparing juice for the children.

UNICEF thanks all donors who contributed to the response effort to the earthquake of August 14, 2021, in Haiti:  AECID, Canada, Citi Foundation, ECHO, ECW FER, France, Germany, GPE, HP Foundation, Impetus Foundation, Japon, LDSC, Lego Foundation, Liechtenstein, Madrid City Council, Meta, SIDA- Suède, Target Corporation, UNCERF, USAID, Wallonie-Bruxelles International, The Walt Disney Company, Xunta De Galicia - UNICEF National committees: Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom , United States - UNICEF CO: Argentina, Peru.