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One million orphaned children in Haiti

Just saw this article. The question is, how will we respond? Hundreds of thousands of other hungry and thirsty children are scattered among Port-au-Prince’s squatter camps of survivors, without protection against disease or child predators – often with nobody to care for them. “T…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Just saw this article. The question is, how will we respond?

Hundreds of thousands of other hungry and
thirsty children are scattered among Port-au-Prince’s squatter camps of
survivors, without protection against disease or child predators –
often with nobody to care for them.

“There’s an
estimated 1 million unaccompanied or orphaned children or children who
lost one parent,” said Kate Conradt, a spokeswoman for the aid group
Save the Children. “They are extremely vulnerable.”

The
U.N. children’s agency, UNICEF, has established a special tent camp for
girls and boys separated from their parents in the Jan. 12 quake, and
who are in danger of falling prey to child traffickers and other
abusers. The Connecticut-based Save the Children has set up “Child
Spaces” in 13 makeshift settlements. The Red Cross and other groups are
working to reunite families and get children into orphanages.

The post-quake needs of Haiti’s children have
outrun available help. Some youngsters have been released from
hospitals with no one to care for them – there just aren’t enough beds.

“Health
workers are being advised to monitor and send separated/unaccompanied
children to child-friendly spaces,” the U.N. humanitarian office said
in its latest situation report.

The plight of
the young is poignant even in a country where the U.N. estimates a
third of the 9 million population needs international assistance in the
quake’s aftermath. “We still have a huge distance to go,” said John
Holmes, the U.N. relief coordinator.

That was
evident in Port-au-Prince’s streets, alleys and crumbled doorways,
where handwritten messages begged for help. In the Juvenat
neighborhood, a group of 50 families hung a white sheet from a doorway,
with this plea scrawled in green: “We need food assistance, water and
medicine.”

Comments (8)

  • A task so monumental it’s overwhelming. Just reading this brings on a sense of helplessness and hopelessness, neither of which are from God. How can I help? I’m not sure what is most needed right now: people to go care for the children, funding, other? Praying.

  • This is gut-wrenching. I am hoping that one “good” thing that can come from this earthquake is that Haiti’s broken adoption system will be fixed. Even those children who were deemed true orphans and available for adoption before the quake were stuck in an orphanage system and it took them YEARS to be adopted and this was even after a family was identified for them. It is very sad. I know that the US State Dept has been working with Haiti’s Prime Minister to address some of these concerns so I am hopeful for positive change. Of course no one wants to see a child stolen from a family for trafficking, etc.. But I think they do owe it to all of the children in Haiti to expedite the process of identifying who are the true orphans and should be made available for adoption.

    Please do not get me wrong: I do NOT think that adoption is the answer to all of Haiti’s problems. They need food, money, assistance, and spiritual ministering, among other things. But I do believe that adoption is God’s design and He can use it to 1. take care of orphaned children and 2. to help and bless the adoptive families. My husband and I have been praying for adoption for a long time. Before Haiti’s earthquake, we had decided to move forward and we are now doing a home study. I wonder what God is going to do? Right now Haitian adoptions are closed, as they should be. I will keep praying. But regardless, I am prayerfully hopeful that God will rescue them. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” John 14:18. Praise be to God for his word and promise!

  • The numbers in need are staggering and all I can do is pray… I cry, I’ve donated, I’m considering (strongly) a trip–what is the assessment of greatest needs? I agree with both previous statements.

  • let’s just say we always begin with prayer. beyond that…

    greatest need overall is distribution – getting food and medicine where it’s needed.

    and our greatest need, therefore, is for people to help us organize the pastors and their people into committees by community that can serve to help channel aid to their community.

    email me and i’ll send you. we’re trying to get people on the ground now.

  • My heart broke for these kids the with the first article I read. Is there a plan for sending in teams yet. It sounds like access is pretty restricted. What can we do to assist without increasing the demand on and already scarce food and water supply?

  • we’re getting ready to do a lot. i’ll send you our plan, Kim. we’ll roll it out to the public this next week.

Comments are closed.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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