What is Support Our Children and Protect their Future program?
According to the bureau of statistics and the Census, in every 5 children in Haiti, three of them will never have the chance to go to school, and 12 to 15% of children who are born will never reach the age of five because of malnutrition; poverty. Poverty has been a serious issue in the country for quite sometimes and it seems to be getting worse every single day; despite the great efforts of many countries that dream about a better Haiti in the American continent and the Caribbean. Unfortunately, children are the most affected of this shameful situation. Today despite all the efforts of many organizations that are involved in helping children on the ground, such as Unicef, World Vision, Care, to name a few; more children are in poverty than any previous time.
Many are those who are concerned about what might be the cause? There are many reasons associated to this shameful situation; first, those institutions that supposed to protect and promote children's wellbeing have dropped the ball a while for quite sometimes. In fact, even before the earthquake, as a result the economy is worsening days in days out. Second, there was never a serious program implemented by those concern institutions nor a system established focusing on taking care of children especially the orphans and those living in poverty. Today, we find more orphan children on the street than any other time. This is partly due to the terrible Earthquake that has taken many lives. However, if the situation was handled appropriately things could have been a lot different for those innocent children.
According to many social organizations on the ground; the loss of lives on that earthquake is estimated at 300,000 thousand and 25% of those victims were in fact children. For those who were not children, they left many children behind without anyone to take care of them. As a result some of them become restavek (by definition restavek is a form of modern slavery that affects 1 in every 10 to 15 children in Haiti living in poverty). Others turn out to be street beggars or end up washing cars on the streets, while others have no way or no one to turn to, and as a result they are being exploited to perform criminal activity and other types of antisocial activities.
Many of these children had parents to care for them until it suddenly stopped one day which creates a situation of panic or confusion in their mind by trying to process what has just happened to them and how they going to survive it. If you ever been to Haiti, you should know what we are talking about and if you never been there this would certainly be your first remark on how poverty has destroyed this country as soon as you leave the international airport area; a country that once was the most beautiful and richest place in the Caribbean. Haiti is a very difficult country even for adults, it is a male dominated population; however, more than 60% of the populations are women and more than 80% of the general populations are unemployed, while for those who are employed 12% of them are underpaid.
With such a social inequality, it is clear that children are the one who would suffer the most. Many of those children already started school before the earthquake but now they can't continue, as a result they are being forced to drop out due to financial reasons. Some of them have no other family members alive, for those who do have other family members; they are already experiencing serious financial difficulties, which make it very impossible for them to feed an extra mouth. Soon these children will become adults if they lucky enough to survive. They will not see their adult life any better without proper and adequate education, and other type of social assistance. Fortunately, it does not have to end this way.
We all understand that poverty and illiteracy walk hand to hand, as a result wherever we find illiteracy there would be poverty also and vice versa. Support our children and Protect their future is a program that Brice Foundation has implemented in order to help children to go or stay in school and to receive the type of social support they need. This program will soon take effect in almost every school in the country to provide social and financial support to children living in poverty especially those without parents to care for them such as orphans, restavek, and the street beggars.
In order to find children who are really in need both socially and financially and to make sure our assistance goes directly to those who are really in need, we work closely with different schools directors and academic organizations managers across the country to help us locate those who are really in deep necessity but are eager to learn in order to have a better and brighter future. We accompanied them in their journey to achieve their goal of becoming perhaps the first educated person in the family, or the first professionals or entrepreneurs in the community. Here at Brice Foundation, we believe regardless of the socioeconomic situation of a child or his/her family, his/her ability or desire to learn how to read and write should never go unnoticed.
We already have tested this program in various schools in the country and so far, the result is very satisfactory. This is why we are now working on expanding this program in all nine departments of Haiti, and we will not stop until we are able to touch almost every little angel in need and are willing to learn how to read and write their own names.
Another part of support our children and protect their future involves building schools establishments across the country. In fact, in the very near future we plan on having our own school institutions in all nine departments in order to make school very accessible to every child regardless of his/her financial situation. While in school, every child will have access to a hot meal, medical attention and vocational programs available to them, etc. For those who do not have a place to stay, we will accommodate shelters for them.
“Support our Children and Protect their Future” program goes along with another program that we have, known as “Framing Future Leaders.” The difference between these two programs is that Framing Future Leaders program is more on a professional level, those who most likely can benefit from this program are young adults and adults, while Support our Children and Protect their Future is more on an academic level and the beneficiary are most likely children and individuals who do not know how to read and write. Framing Future Leaders can be seen as continuity or a complement of Support our Children and Protect their Future. However, they do not achieve the same goal and each of these two programs addressed the need of different group of individuals in our society. To learn more about Framing Future Leaders, please click here.
1 out of 10 children in Haiti is affected by a modern slavery system known as "Restavek" With your help we can change their situation in order to have a better and brighter future. You can donate money, shoes, cloths, school supplies, etc.