Program Highlight: Orphans and Vulnerable Children
Project Medishare for Haiti’s Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) program is located in Lahoye, Haiti, a town in the mountainous Central Plateau, near the border.
Over half of Haiti’s population are children and they are at high risk due to the social and economic hardships of the region. Many are susceptible to inadequate nutrition, poor health and trafficking. Project Medishare works with the communities in the Central Plateau to improve the lives of orphans and vulnerable children. The project is funded by private donors and Cross International.
With the OVC program, children and parents receive access to health services, nutrition, education and psychosocial support. In 2014 alone, more than 300 children have received assistance in the following areas:
EDUCATION: Medishare representatives meet regularly with school principals and teachers to understand the students’ performance and hold monthly meetings with parents and caretakers.
SHELTER: Members of our staff visit homes to ensure children are well cared for and also to make improvements to homes to assure adequate shelter for the children.
NUTRITION: Nutritional supplements are distributed to families in the program. Parents are educated and sensitized by health workers on how to feed their children with locally grown food.
INCOME: Income generating activities, such as XXX, are developed for the caretakers of the children to provide them the opportunity to better care for their families.
SAFETY: Project Medishare identifies vulnerable children who do not have birth certificates and registers them with the national agency. This is important to reduce the trafficking of children (to other areas of Haiti as well as to the Dominican Republic) where they are used in the sex industry or for household labor.
HEALTH: As all children in the catchment areas for the clinics, these children are provided with access to health care through the Project Medishare clinics run in partnership with the Ministry of Health.
There are many success stories from the OVC program. 13-year old Milson Balde lost his mother and lives with his grandmother, a widow of 25 years. The OVC program has provided him the opportunity to go to school and to access health services. Since joining the program, Milson is flourishing: making friends at school and playing football.
Project Medishare’s very own OVC program coordinator, Rose Merline took her job of caring for orphans to heart by adopting a one-month old girl in the program, Rose Abygaelle. She is “very happy to be a mother now” and proudly shows off pictures of her almost one-year old daughter.
Many more children in the Central Plateau region require the services offered through the OVC program. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to Project Medishare’s Orphans and Vulnerable Children Program.