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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: Supporting vulnerable families

ESPWA distributes handwashing stations to vulnerable families

Frequent handwashing remains one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of a virus. Accessibility to clean water and diminishing soap and other cleaning supplies is a barrier for most Haitians reacting to the recent news of Coronavirus cases in Haiti.

This is why proper handwashing has been one of the primary focuses of Espwa’s response.

Staff members at Espwa created handwashing buckets with spigots to be placed in various locations around campus as well as to be distributed.

Buckets have been placed in every entrance throughout campus for accessibility to children and staff members. More than 150 buckets have also been distributed to families in communities with the highest vulnerability –

  • Multiple children

  • Living in extreme poverty

  • In rural communities with difficult access to supplies

Priority is being given to families in our Family Preservation Program in order to create more stability. We hope to distribute more to a wider range of families and communities soon.

Circulating proper hygiene practices in communities

Trainings on topics including sanitation, proper hygiene practices, and what to do if you get sick are also being incorporated into our Coronavirus prevention measures.

We were able to provide training to school parents before the closure of schools, as well as with the children, both in residency and by classroom before the closure of schools.

Social workers are also providing training with individual families as they are distributing handwashing stations and visiting communities. While we are unable to provide every single family with a handwashing station, social workers are making every effort to visit families who live near the bucket recipients in order to share preparation and hygiene information.

By Thursday, we will have visited 90 families in our Family Preservation Program with an estimate of an additional 360 families (families living in close proximity) for in-person trainings.

By disseminating factual information and giving communities proactive actions to follow, not only are we taking measures to suppress the spread of Coronavirus, but we are letting our communities know you are not alone and we can fight the spread of this virus together.

Partner responses: Overture International training through local radio broadcast

Early this week, Overture International coordinated a meeting with the child protection partners in the Sud Department to develop an action plan to address the risks to children in the current crisis. On Tuesday, March 24, Overture International and its partners participated in a local radio and television broadcast to share basic facts about Coronavirus, how to protect your family from the virus, what to do if you get sick, and important numbers to call for help.

The 1.5 hour-long broadcast covered various topics, including:

  • What is Coronavirus and what are its symptoms?

  • How can you protect yourself from the virus (especially if you do not have access to soap, sanitizer, etc.)?

  • What should you do if you get sick?

  • Who is the most vulnerable to the virus?

Haitians rely on radio broadcasts for much of their news and information. By providing trainings through local broadcasts, we are able to reach families and communities in areas we may not have physical access to.

Later this week, the broadcast will air on local television stations and will also be disseminated in a series through Facebook which some families can access via cell phone.

READ MORE at Overture International

Where there is hope, there is life

We are working extensively and tirelessly with staff and partners to provide the most support to children and their families in our communities.

As Haitians would say, kote gen espwa, gen lavi – where there is hope, there is life.

Thank you for keeping hope in your hearts as our staff upholds their mission to protect the most vulnerable children in Haiti. We keep you and your families in our prayers as we all fight to keep our loved ones safe.

Thank you for considering your sacrificial gift to keep children in Haiti healthy and safe during this public health crisis.


to Coronavirus prevention in Haiti

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