The small island nation of Haiti lies a mere 90-minute plane ride southeast of Miami. They are our neighbours. The most vulnerable of their population, the children, are in constant need. In the nation’s poorest communities, 1 in every 10 children dies before reaching age 5. Following the devastating earthquake in 2010, the number of orphaned children in the country nearly doubled.
According to UNICEF, Haiti has one of the highest rates of infant and maternal mortality in the western hemisphere. Diarrhea, respiratory infections, malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS are the leading causes of death. Recent estimates suggest there are hundreds of thousands of orphaned children in Haiti. Welcome Home Children’s Centre (WHCC) was established in hopes of improving the odds for some of those children.
About half of primary school-age children are enrolled in school while secondary school participation is approximately 20%. WHCC’s focus on education illustrates our commitment to improving these numbers.
Caring for, nurturing, and educating disadvantaged children can build a foundation for sustainable change in Haiti. Providing the necessities of life as well as developmental opportunities will give the children of WHCC the tools they need to help rebuild their country.