Sunday, February 21, 2010

Facing Challenges

Now that we have created routines in the child-friendly spaces, we are starting to do more outreach in the community. It is an effort to get them more involved and start to think of the spaces as their own, not structures that were built by the American Refugee Committee. We also want to understand the community’s protection concerns and how we can address them together.

For instance, this week we were getting more reports of abuse and of children who have been abandoned by their families. Specifically, we had two unaccompanied children that were left at the camp. It was a very difficult situation. The community was initially hesitant for us to get involved because of the prior incident where foreigners were caught trying to take Haitian children out of the country.

In the end, some of our staff helped report the case to the police and find a temporary place for them to stay, but the whole situation was challenging. The government is currently very weak and the systems and protocols that existed before the earthquake are not entirely applicable now. Some service providers are no longer there, or they don’t have adequate staff or supplies. All of this makes it difficult to know what to do in situations such as child abandonment, which is a serious and sensitive issue in Haiti at the moment.

Right: This week we hired many more teachers at the child-friendly spaces. Now, there are two for every 25 children.

No comments:

Post a Comment