Implemented by AVSI Haiti, the PARTNERSHIP FOR HAITIAN CHILDREN & YOUTH in Port-au-Prince, Haiti covers various sets of activities within a long-term commitment to the communities in two of the poorest slums in the city, Cite Soleil and Martissant. AVSI serves children and youth, and their families, through education, child protection, nutrition, and conflict resolution programs.
AVSI Foundation has been present in Haiti since 1999, and has been officially recognized by the Haitian government since 2005. Much of AVSI Haiti’s operations are focused in two of the poorest slums in Port-au-Prince, Cite Soleil and Martissant, where it began to work in 2004 and 2006 respectively.
Before the devastating earthquake in 2010, AVSI had already been operating in Haiti for over a decade in areas such as education, child protection, and conflict resolution. After the earthquake, AVSI increased its presence in Haiti through emergency responses, including: managing camps for displaced families, assisting in child protection, and providing medical and nutritional support to refugees not only in the Port-au-Prince area, but in the city of Les Cayes as well.
These emergency activities, which responded to the needs of more than 40,000 Haitians, provided the foundation for lasting support systems in the affected communities, including the creation and/or renovation of nine schools, two psycho-social support centers, and five nutritional centers.
Children and youth in the slums of Port-au-Prince suffer from violence, poverty and disruption caused by the devastation left in the wake of the 2010 earthquake. Teachers and schools lack the resources to properly educate and support children’s growth and development.
Poverty, unemployment, lack of access to schooling and community insecurity are factors which push many youth towards gangs, criminal activity and violence. In addition to these difficulties, roughly 13% of the population in these poor areas is malnourished, the majority of whom are women and children.
Since 2008, AVSI-USA has collaborated with AVSI Haiti on educational projects in Port-au-Prince. In response to the 2010 earthquake, AVSI-USA enthusiastically joined the international groundswell of support for emergency response and recovery in Haiti.
With funding from a private foundation, AVSI-USA supports AVSI Haiti in implementing a project centered around art therapy activities for primary school children and youth through its community centers in Martissant and Cite Soleil. Hundreds of children each semester enjoy art classes, creative workshops, and public exhibits of their own work.
AVSI Haiti also collaborates with the American Red Cross in the project “We Do Not Stop!”, in which youth from Cite Soleil and Martissant are invited to on take leadership roles in the implementation of an integrated, community drive program that supports youth with positive experiences and learning opportunities. AVSI-USA has supported this project in the design phase and will continue to support the project’s monitoring and evaluation.
Most recently, following Hurricane Matthew, AVSI staff in Haiti found that many children in Child-Friendly Spaces were having nightmares or panic attacks. In the commune of Torbeck of 60,000 inhabitants and one of the communes the most affected, AVSI Haiti had already identified 406 families (about 1,200 children) who require immediate protection and support activities.
Thanks to the Building Resiliency Through Art project, AVSI-USA and AVSI Haiti support the creation of safe spaces and art therapy activities to help the children cope with their emotions and trauma they experienced. With funding from a private foundation, AVSI Haiti is able to support and implement art therapy activities for primary school children and youth as well as integrate art therapy activities during the school day. Hundreds of children each semester enjoy art classes, creative workshops, and public exhibits of their own work.
- 900 children participated in art classes and after-school art workshops, contributing to their education and psycho-social development
- 1,500 youths and 1,000 adults were also able to participate in community wide art exhibits and activities
- 2 community centers in Port-au-Prince were rehabilitated and expanded to offer multiple services to their community (Martissant & Cite Soleil)
FIAMMETTA CAPPELLINI | COUNTRY REPRESENTATIVE
17, RUE JACOB (ROUTE DE FRÈRES)
Tel. (00509) 29432076