Haiti Country Information
Fact and Figures
Location – Caribbean, western third of the island of Hispaniola, west of the Dominican Republic
Capital – Port-au-Prince
Population – 9.9 million
People – Black 95%, Mulatto and White 5%
Language – French, Creole
Religion – Roman Catholic 80%, Protestant 16% (roughly half of the population practices Voodoo)
Literacy rate – 52.9%
Life expectancy – 63 years
% Living below $1/day – 54%
Sources The CIA World Fact Book 2013, Compassion International, www.news.bbc.co.uk
Once known as one of the wealthiest nations in the Caribbean, Haiti is now statistically the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Historically, its wealth was achieved largely due to the heavy importation of African slaves. A slave revolt against the French in 1804 gave Haiti its independence and the notable achievement of being the first black republic in the world.
Haiti’s richness in physical beauty, culture, music, dance and spirituality has now been overshadowed by political and civil instability, violence, deep-set poverty, environmental degradation and natural disasters.
Most Haitians still cannot afford healthcare or education and do not have access to running water or electricity and the fragile economy relies on expatriates and foreign aid as the major sources of income.
Children suffer from malnutrition, intestinal diseases and typhoid and are often the last to receive food and help. The legacy of its slave-trade past seems to be invading Haiti’s present with child trafficking also being a disturbingly regular occurrence.
The devastating earthquake of January 2010 killed over 200,000 people and shattered the infrastructure of the capital, Port-au-Prince. The earthquake is assessed as the worst in this region over the last 200 years and the rebuilding process will be slow, with large scale restructuring and planning required to prevent a disaster of this scale from recurring.
Since 1968, Compassion has been working to reverse this. Currently more than 75,000 children have received assistance. Compassion’s 255 church-based projects also provide a place of safety for children at risk of child trafficking. Compassion Haiti currently has 38 Child Survival Programmes. Over 75,000 children are currently being assisted in 255 Child Sponsorship Programmes in Haiti. Compassion Haiti currently has 83 active Leadership Development Programme students.
Welcome to Safe Families for Children East Midlands.
The Safe Families for Children model puts volunteers from faith communities around families in crisis to enable them to stay together and reduce the number of children going into care. These volunteers become Family Friends, Host Families, and Resource Friends.
Spreading across England from the successful pilot in the North East, Safe Families for Children has been working in the East Midlands region over the past few months, developing relationships with churches in local communities to build its volunteer base. Over fifty volunteers from local churches have been recruited in Nottingham and Safe Families for Children have started receiving families referred to the programme.
Safe Families for Children are pleased to be working alongside Nottingham City Council to find long-term solutions for families in need of support. Nottingham is the first local authority in the East Midlands to sign a Public Social Partnership with Safe Families for Children, with five more expected to follow. This agreement allows Safe Families for Children and local authorities to work hand-in-hand to help vulnerable families within the authority area.
The vision is a to create a network consisting of hundreds of compassionate, community-based volunteers who will reach out to families experiencing crises of different kinds, and especially those who have younger children.
To express your interest in being involved, please email EastMidlands@safefamiliesforchildren.com