MY RIGHT. Integrated project for better support and protection of children in poorest slum of Waf Jeremie.

Project location: HAITI, Waf Jeremie
Project start date: January 2017 - Project end date: December 2017
Project number: 2016-061
Beneficiary: Fondazione L’Albero della Vita ONLUS

The slum of Waf Jeremie is characterized by degradation, social exclusion, widespread violence, awful health conditions, and food insecurity. The population has no access to fundamental rights (water, food, education, medical care, sanitation) and the unemployment rate is very high. Many people of Waf Jeremie has never been registered as citizens of Haiti. The majority of the people living in that area are children and young people who are not enrolled in the school.

Haiti has the highest rates of infant, under-five and maternal mortality in the Western hemisphere. Diarrhoea, respiratory infections, malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS are the leading causes of death. Child and maternal mortality rates are very high in Waf Jeremie. Malnutrition, respiratory diseases, HIV / AIDS, tuberculosis and scabies are common diseases in the slum, but population has no access to the National Health Service and they use traditional medicine.

The earthquake of January of  2010 has resulted in Port-au-Prince the death of some 230.000 people, an estimated 300.000 injured and 1.500.000,00 Haitians left homeless. In Waf Jeremie the consequences of the earthquake has been dramatic: the population is till isolated, there is no access to basic services and the majority of the people are living in inhumane conditions.     

Cholera emergency of October 2010 and the Tomas Hurricane of November 2010 had aggravated the situation of the slum, due to the high number of victims and the destruction of the infrastructures and houses. At the beginning of 2015 a new outbreak of cholera has been registered in some places of Port-au-Prince and children died because of the lack of proper health emergency service.

In October 2016 Matthew Hurricane, a category 4 storm, hits hardly the country, mostly in Grand’anse Department. At least 1,000 people are believed to have died in the country. Approximately 2.1 million people were affected by the storm and roughly 175,000 people were left homeless.

Situation of children in Waf Jeremy is grievous. Considering the environment in which children are growing, all of them are exposed to physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Risky factors in Waf Jeremy are everywhere: alcohol and drug abuse, prostitution, lack of parenting skills. Number of orphanage and street children are increasing for the high number of women died due to HIV/AIDS and for parent death during gang clash.

Political instability is also increased on December 2015 due to President Martelly’s run-off. Population was exposed to riots in the capital and several deaths occurred in poor slum such as Waf Jeremy. 

New elections were supposed to be done during 2016 but there were always postponed due to different reasons, the last one was the humanitarian disaster caused by Matthew Hurricane. Because of this the country is always politically instable.

Project description

Sister Marcella is an Italian missionary and she is working in developing countries since 1992. She worked in Albania and Brazil before arriving to Haiti in 2004. The Fraternità Francescana Missionaria, born in Haiti in 2004 by Sister Marcella, is inspired by the catholic’s values and works to meet the basic human needs through programs of medical care, education and training activities.

Sister Marcella founded in 2005 the only community centre for children and families in Waf Jeremie, the San Franswa Centre. Over the years, the centre become the only one provided health services in the area offering medical care to thousands of children and adults.

The earthquake of 2010 destroyed the infrastructure of San Franswa Centre. After its reconstruction, the new clinic consist of a waiting room, a clearinghouse, an emergency room, a room used for the nutritional support program, a dental room, a delivery room and a pediatric room. In the last year, Sister Marcella added to the Klinic a Shelter Home named “House of the Child” to take care of orphans, children affected by HIV and other severe diseases.

Health project is providing necessary equipment to make clinic operational and to provide medicines to treat children and their parents; a doctor who is specialized in the management of medical devices in a context of extreme poverty and 6 health workers (nurses and non-specialist staff).

Main achievements

The Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation has supported Fondazione L’Albero della Vita with the project “Help Haiti’s people in the poorest slum of Waf Jeremy” since 2011. Main achieved results had been related with nutritional program implemented in the Clinic. Besides distribution of Plumpy-nuts for 350 malnourished children and nutrition awareness campaigns, the project did weekly nutritional screening for children and carried out a weekly nutritional program (rice, beans and oil) with the purpose of improving children’s weight. At least 5.000 children was covered by the programme during each year of the project.

During 2012-2016 Peretti Foundation has supported Fondazione L’Albero della Vita with the project “Help Haiti’s people in the poorest slum of Waf Jeremy Phase II, III and IV. Main achieved results were: the opening of the clinic for 9 hours per day; the visiting of around 5100 new children under 5 years each year in the clinic and control visit of an average of 1500 children under 5 years each year; an average of 500 children and 900 pregnant women have been vaccinated  and an average of 3500 visits to pregnant women have been done each year. These had a great impact on children population - especially children - in terms of respiratory diseases and waterborne diseases like diarrhoea, malaria, gastroenteritis.

In addition, Fondazione L’Albero della Vita is supporting Sister Marcella’s children care centre, Kay Pe’ Giuss, since 2015 with a project to strengthen professional skills of educators working with orphan and abandoned children giving them important instruments to improve their work regarding children care. The project is developed implementing FADV’s educational methodology in Kay Pe’ Giuss centre, taking in account local context and needs.

New challenges
Health situation in target area is getting worst in the last year due to the fact that all the private and external-donor-supported clinic around Waf Jeremy are now closing. The following are the main challenges: 
-    Availability of medical staff and health facilities refurbishment.
-    High rate of 0-5 mortality rate and lack of maternal health assistance
-    High number of children and adults suffering diseases that could be treated only in San Franswa Clinic that is the only hospital in the surrounding areas.
-    Risk of outbreak of cholera and other epidemics.
-    Lack of awareness to give a proper support to children.

-    5.000 children and 3.000 adolescents and adults who are living in the slum of Waf Jeremy, and who’ll access to medical care and medicines from the San Franswa Clinic.
-    5.000 children who will receive nutritional assistance through nutritional programs of the Clinic.
-    1000 risky mother and children are enrolled in the mother and child survival programme
-    3000 families who will receive information and will arise their awareness on children rights

think global, act local
you are here: Home  > Projects:  Promotion of Health or North America  (or Both)  > 2016-061  > Project Description