Children of Haiti premieres on Independent Lens tonight at 10 PM (check local listings). As tomorrow’s one-year anniversary of the devastating earthquake approaches, the media is alight with stories of rebuilding efforts, humanitarian missions, the still-desperate conditions inside the tent camps which sprung up around Port-au-Prince after the disaster left millions homeless.
But what often doesn’t rise to the headlines is the plight of children in Haiti — they make up 50 percent of Haiti’s population, and yet are among the most disenfranchised groups in the entire country. Before the earthquake on January 12, 2010, half a million children in Haiti were orphaned or abandoned by their families. The quake made 450,000 more homeless.
These children make ripe targets for exploitation. Many end up working as child slaves (resteveks) doing domestic chores in the equivalent of indentured servitude. Some aren’t even that lucky.
We’ve put together some resources for viewers who want to help … after the jump.
The producers of Children of Haiti sent us some resources for those interested in getting involved with efforts to improve the lives and futures of Haiti’s youngest generations.
• Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees
Empowers low-wage immigrants so that they can fight for dignity and justice in their working and living conditions.
• The Lambi Fund of Haiti
Assists the popular, democratic movement in Haiti with a goal of strengthening civil society as a necessary foundation of democracy and development. The fund channels financial and other resources to community-based organizations that promote the social and economic empowerment of the Haitian people.
• Haiti Soleil
A mission to build and develop community-centered public libraries, museums, and other institutions of educational and cultural exchange focused on advancing the intellectual growth of young Haitian citizens.
• Kids Alive – Haiti
They are in Cap-Haitian and Port-au-Prince, with headquarters in Indianapolis. They are currently helping the street boys and street kids.
This is a non-profit dedicating to protecting soil resources, empowering communities, and transforming waste into resources. They also have a division where they help children through community projects and education.