Loudina is an orphan at 8 years old. She and her 6 siblings tragically lost their mother during Hurricane Matthew when the house above fell on top of their home in Jérémie, Haiti.
They are among the over 590,000 children in need of humanitarian assistance due to the devastating impact in Haiti of Hurricane Matthew nearly two months ago. Loudina’s older sister, Stephanie (23), escaped the crumbling house with the other children and her 3-month-old son Wisley, desperately seeking assistance for their mom, trapped underneath the house.
They are all now among Haiti’s orphans, living with their aunt, Syltane Bien-Aimer, who struggles to provide for 11 people in a two-room house. Even in the face of Haiti’s hurricane relief effort, food was scarce due to the storm-wrought destruction of crops.
The family gets some reprieve from a life-altering situation at one of the 12 UNICEF-sponsored, bi-weekly, child-friendly spaces where UNICEF USA’s partner, IDETTE, provides children affected by Hurricane Matthew with psycho-social support and a haven for play and self-expression.
IDETTE has started identifying suppliers to set up a voucher system that will enable 500 children and their families to access basic commodities and construction material, complementing the material emergency assistance available.
If this young girl was from another part of the Caribbean would it change the way you look at this story?
What’s Life Like As An Orphan?
It is estimated that there are nearly one million orphans in Haiti, while the estimated number of orphanages in Haiti is around 760.
There are hundreds of orphanages in the country of Haiti. Some are well-run facilities with adequate living conditions, while others are simple huts with little more than wooden shacks.
Georgette Mulheir, Lumos CEO explains why institutional ‘care’ is a growing problem in Haiti and how Lumos is working to reform childcare in Haiti.