Rebuilding Haiti

PORT AU PRINCE, HAITI- MARCH 10:  A child at a school set up by the ProDev group in a tent city in the Saint-Martin area of Port Au Princ. (Photo by Lee Celano/Getty Images for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee )

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:

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:

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.

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