Following the devastating January 2010 earthquake, the subsequent cholera outbreak, and 2012’s hurricanes, JDC’s work in Haiti has responded to the most urgent needs while building toward a brighter and more sustainable future for the Haitian people. Current programs include:
- Delivering critical water hygiene kits and other assistance for Haitians impacted by Hurricanes Isaac and Sandy.
- Continuing to invest in rehabilitation services for people with disabilities with a strong emphasis on moving towards sustainability and local ownership of programs.
- Funding a cafeteria, study room, and drainage system at the Ecole Nouvelle Zoranje campus whose middle school JDC helped build in partnership with the ProDev Foundation and the Bonita Trust. JDC is working with local partners to nationally promote the educational campus as a new model for public education in the country. JDC is building a second school in the rural community of Fondwa that was majorly impacted by the earthquake.
- Reaffirming its commitment to local civil society development and leadership training by supporting the Haitian Center for Leadership and Excellence and by applying JDC’s expertise in training and curriculum development.
- Working with ORT, JDC has established a vocational training school where Haitian young adults are studying nursing and telecommunications.
JDC’s past critical support and expertise includes:
Medical Relief: Initially funding the Israel Defense Forces emergency field hospital, as well as medical teams of doctors and nurses, JDC also purchased six ambulances and provided underserved villagers in remote coastal communities with medical care at two land clinics and a boat clinic. JDC also responded to the cholera epidemic that broke out in 2010 and remains a major public health challenge in Haiti.
Emergency Services: Immediately after the earthquake and in the following months, JDC provided Haitians with life-saving aid, including:
- Water: JDC ensured hundreds of thousands of Haitians living in crowded tent cities and makeshift shelters would have ready access to clean drinking water, thanks to the purchase and placement of 80 water tanks.
- Food: JDC supplied tons of food for Haiti, through direct shipments and the establishment of food kitchens and a nutrition program for malnourished, displaced children.
- Shelter: JDC distributed emergency shelter kits to 1,250 internally displaced families in the Port-au-Prince area to construct temporary structures that gave protection during the heavy rain season. JDC also shipped donated mattresses, tarps, and blankets to families who lost everything in the disaster.
Physical Rehabilitation: In its work with disabled Haitians injured and impacted by the earthquake, JDC established a state-of-the-art rehabilitation center at Port-Au-Prince’s HUEH (l’Hôpital de l’Université d’Etat d’Haïti). This center, together with a prosthetics clinic, continues to provide unparalleled service. More than 4,000 people have directly benefited from these rehabilitation services, including many lower and upper limb amputees.
A JDC-Afya Foundation workshop is also training Haitians to create functional products such as a clamped mortar and pestle for one-handed people as well as to fix wheelchairs and walkers and providing special occupational therapy teams in tent cities.and in Port-au-Prince’s poorest communities, such as Cite de Soleil. Afya teams have also conducted successful community-based workshops on topics such as dealing with children with disabilities and injuries such as back pain, gunshot wounds, and more; and providing Haitians with access to critical knowledge about frequently occurring health challenges.
Education: Temporary schools gave 2,000 displaced children who lost homes and often family members a much-needed point of stability and an opportunity to continue their studies. Some 550 students are learning in a new, state-of-the-art school in Zoranje, 15km outside of Port-au-Prince where JDC built a middle school. Last year JDC began the reconstruction and modernization of an elementary and secondary school in Fondwa, southwest of Port-Au-Prince that will serve some 700 students. JDC has also provided a clean water supply, library space, perimeter fence and playground at L'Ecole de Choix in Mirebalais. JDC also completed a project to improve the integration of children with disabilities into Haiti’s schools by upgrading accessibility and providing sensitivity training for teachers, parents, and children.
Post-Trauma Relief: Israeli trauma experts provided more than 500 hours of training in psychosocial responses to trauma to 360 Haitian leaders, who are now working within their communities and training additional volunteers. Hundreds of children have benefited from recreational activities within a safe environment at two model Child Friendly Spaces, which will also raise community awareness on the issue of child protection. A traveling theater education program has helped Haitians express their fears and hopes following the horrific events three years ago.
Job Training and Capacity Building: JDC has enhanced economic capacity in Haiti by providing job training for 1,500 craftsmen in anti-seismic construction techniques; instituting cash-for-work programs for internally displaced persons; and providing farmers with agricultural tools to resume their livelihoods. In addition, 70 students are currently training in nursing and telecommunications at the JDC-supported vocational training school in Port-au-Prince. JDC is also a partner in the recently launched Haitian Center for Leadership and Excellence, which is building civil society leadership in Haiti, especially among women.