Updated: May 7, 2019
Honoring Moms in May is a perfect time to share our commitment to Family Preservation and why we feel it is so important to our mission. Before we dive into sharing some stories from our beneficiaries this month, we believe it is important to understand the challenges our children and their families face.
Did you know that over 90% of the children living at Espwa have families? Families in Haiti face harsh, daily challenges in a country with limited or inaccessible public services, an unstable economy, and a corrupt political system. Many feel they have no other choice but to find orphanages and other similar facilities so their children may have an opportunity for education, nutrition, medical care, and, simply, safe shelter.
Even though our children have families, going home may not always be the safest option. It does mean, however, that to help the children in the best way we can, we must also help the family.
When we help build a family’s capacity to provide care, parents can be reunited with their child so that their bond may be strengthened and their child can be raised with their love…while still having the opportunities we can provide such as an education, nutrition, and medical care. Focusing on the children at Espwa also means focusing on their families.
Conditions in Haiti have not improved since the earthquake in 2010. In fact, for southern Haiti particularly, conditions in many areas have declined. Children are staying in orphanages longer and are missing out on the connections that form within a family and community environment. This also means they are missing the influence of some of their most important role models…their parents.
Help us help families! Helping the children in Haiti must be a two-parted effort – helping the children with direct, immediate needs, and building a family’s capacity to provide for those needs in the long run. With support through our residential care and family preservation programs, children can be reunited with their families and communities as soon as possible. When the family unit remains intact, we are making communities in Haiti stronger!