SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages in Haiti).

Santo is a village located approximatively 15 kilometers from Port-au-Prince, which is the capital of Haiti. In the capital, located in the south of the country, around two million people live in uncertainty and poverty. Port-au-Prince is home to different slum areas, like Cité Soleil, where around 400,000 people live in one of the most dangerous areas of the Western Hemisphere. They suffer from the prevalent social unrest in the country, and the high risk of natural disasters.

Since 1984, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Port-au-Prince-Santo.

Children were affected in the 2021 earthquake

Vulnerable to natural disasters

The country of Haiti is prone to natural disasters, some of the most devastating ones in recent years were the earthquake of 2010 and 2021, and the hurricane of 2016. These disasters destroy lives, families, and houses, and poor households are often disproportionately more exposed and less resilient to them. The recurring catastrophes are also a major constraint for families trying to escape poverty, in one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Children are most vulnerable to the disasters, with the last earthquake affecting half a million children. They are not able to go to school or receive proper health care, and in worse cases, lose their homes and families.

People in Port-au-Prince had to flee their homes

Living with unrest and uncertainty

In recent years, Haiti has been shaken by social unrest. The most recent ones concern fuel shortages and gang violence. Due to political instability, the price of fuel has soared, and supplies are very low. This affects every layer of society, making it impossible for schools and hospitals to operate, and people to move freely. Furthermore, gangs have been terrorizing the population. The physical and gender-based violence, road blockings, and threat of kidnapping that gangs cause accross the city have left many Haitians scared of leaving their houses. Others flee their homes, with 17,000 Haitians being internally displaced in Port-au-Prince. Children especially are scarred for life.

Your support makes a difference for children in Port-au-Prince-Santo

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Sisters reading together. Children in our care grow up with each other, and often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages in Haiti).

How your support helps in Port-au-Prince-Santo

Strengthening families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run trainings so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Providing quality education
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centered learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Young children spend time playing and learning at kindergarten. This prepares them for primary school.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. The children live integrated into the local communities, alongside local families in different neighbourhoods. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.