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Orphans in Haiti Hope for a Bright Future

2010-01-30

 

© UNICEF Canada/2010/Tidey
Evelyne and a classmate at the Foyer L’escale Orphanage in Port-au-Prince.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, 31 January 2010 – Evelyne is an eleven-year-old girl with bright eyes and a dazzling smile. Her favorite subject in school is math and like most kids these days, she wants a cell phone. Evelyne’s dream is to one day become a doctor. It seems she has a world of possibilities ahead of her.

Evelyne is also an orphan living at Foyer L’escale Orphanage in Port-au-Prince. She lives there with 56 other children, aged seven to seventeen – some of whom were orphaned before the earthquake struck and others who have arrived since the January 12 disaster. It is perhaps easy to assume, given their difficult situation, that Evelyne and the rest of the children here will not see their dreams realized.

But if you were to visit Foyer L’escale, you would find 57 healthy and happy children living together in a place where a hopeful future with endless possibilities is palpable.

 

© UNICEF Canada/2010/Tidey
Children at the Foyer L’escale Orphanage sing a song for UNICEF.

UNICEF is providing the children at Foyer L’escale with enough food and safe drinking water to secure their health and nutritional wellbeing over the long-term. The children eat nutritious meals throughout the day and have the energy to show for it.

UNICEF has also constructed comfortable shelters that house the orphanage’s sleeping quarters, dining room and classroom. The classroom has also come equipped with enough educational supplies to sustain a positive learning environment.

Children at the orphanage who need psychosocial counseling, particularly those who lost their families in the earthquake, receive support on a regular basis from dedicated UNICEF staff and partners on the premises. A key component of the healing process for traumatized children is restoring a sense of normalcy to their lives which is also achieved by getting the kids back in the classroom and playing with their peers.

 

© UNICEF Canada/2010/Tidey
UNICEF staff pouring water for children at the Foyer L’escale Orphanage.

UNICEF is now providing clean water and other services to children in 60 orphanages in Port-au-Prince and the surrounding areas. As of January 29, UNICEF staff had assessed 102 orphanages to determine the needs of children living there.

UNICEF and its partners at orphanages like Foyer L’escale are working together to ensure that these children are given more than just the bare minimum needed to survive. They are being given the tools they need to live happy and successful lives where anything is possible.

Evelyne, like many children growing up in this world, may decide she would rather be something other than a doctor. Maybe she will decide to be a teacher, scientist, or veterinarian. Maybe she’ll decide to be a police officer or journalist. What matters most is that Evelyne and other orphaned children in Haiti are given the opportunity to make those choices.

For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230, scarmichael@unicef.ca.
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806, tbaggetta@unicef.ca.