Haiti's earthquake left many families seperated due to trauma but also economic considerations. A new program by UNICEF seeks to reunite families, and as critically, enable the economic opportunities for them to become self-sufficient. The Charles family had temporarily given up its 3 children, but now they have been reunited.
Transcripts / Production notes / Scripts
gane was the epicentre of the earthquake in Haiti. Like many people here, the Charles girls had their lives completely changed after the tragedy. Their house collapsed. Their mother’s fruit and vegetables selling business was destroyed. Their parents, already poor to begin with, could no longer afford to look after their three girls. When a local child care centre said that they would take them in, their parents agreed.
SOUNDBITE (Creole) Madame Marie Charles, Mother:
“We didn’t have the money to keep the children so we had to give them up. We have three children. After the earthquake we didn’t have a house to keep them”
The Charles’ desperately wanted to look after their children themselves, and felt that they had failed as parents.
UNICEF recognizes the difficulties that Haitian parents face, and has started a new pilot programme to help parents support their children.
SOUNDBITE (English) Jean Lieby, Head of Child Protection in Haiti, UNICEF:
“Families really want to enter this type of project because they love their children. The economic situation of families is very difficult, there’s no industry, agriculture is difficult. And so this type of partnership, concerning income generating activities, supported by UNICEF, implemented by Terre des Hommes, is really important for families to keep their children home.”
With this project, the Charles girls were able to reunite with their family.
SOUNDBITE (Creole) Joseph Charles, Father:
“Terre des Hommes helped me a lot; with the children they helped me. They regularly visit us, sometimes they give things to the children, and that has given us a lot of comfort. Terre des Hommes helped me with my business, because I couldn’t do everything alone.”
Terre des Hommes helped rebuild the Charles’ house, but most importantly they gave Joseph Charles money to construct a rice paddy field on his land. After a couple of months at the care centre, the Charles girls were able to come home. Selling rice will hopefully give their parents the means to look after them in the future.
Social workers from Terre des Hommes will check on how the family is doing, but if the project is successful many more Haitian children will be able to live with their families once again.
Year of Production: 2011
Length: 2 mins
- Muhamed Sacirbey, UNTV
- Susan Sacirbey