Moving Day in Haiti: Jean Steve Finds a New Home at Corail Cesselesse Camp

When the opportunity to move out of one of Port-au-Prince’s largest settlements for displaced families arose, Jean Steve’s parents knew it was time to go.

The family of four, made homeless by the January 12 earthquake, has been living at the Petionville Club, a massive camp of at least 43,000 people located on a 9-hole golf course. The site is overcrowded and perched on the steep hills, threatened by flooding and landslides now that rainy season has begun with near-daily downpours.

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Kate Conradt, Save the Children director, media and communications

Petionville Club Camp

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

April 15, 2010



When the opportunity to move out of one of Port-au-Prince’s largest settlements for displaced families arose, Jean Steve’s parents knew it was time to go.

The family of four, made homeless by the January 12 earthquake, has been living at the Petionville Club, a massive camp of at least 43,000 people located on a 9-hole golf course. The site is overcrowded and perched on the steep hills, and it is threatened by flooding and landslides now that the near-daily downpours of the rainy season have begun.

Familyrelocate-0193 An emergency evacuation of people living in at-risk areas began April 10, and Jean Steve, his brother, Romario, and his parents, Alexis and Sagine, opted to go to a new camp established north of Port-au-Prince at Corail Cesselesse. The family is pictured at right. (Photo credit: Lee Celano/Getty Images)

They were among the first 20 families to move.

“It was really bad here. We had a lot of problems. The rain came into our tent and we couldn’t sleep,” said Alexis.

“We knew we couldn’t live here anymore,” said Sagine.

The family registered and moved to the new site on April 11. The planned camp has neatly spaced tents on a graveled plain. Save the Children set up a clinic and child-friendly spaces before the new residents arrived. Pictured below are Alexis and Sagine, along with Jean Steve, as they load supplies into their new tent. (Photo credit: Lee Celano/Getty Images)   

Loadtentrelocate-0264 “This place is better,” said 9-year-old Jean Steve. “There’s no mud here. And my friends are coming.”

A third-grader and fan of the Brazilian national soccer team, Jean Steve was going to school before the earthqake. He has not been back to class since he lost his home. His eyes light up when he hears that schools, too, will come to the camp.

“I like school,” he said.

Save the Children is providing vital services for children like Jean Steve and Romario during the relocation process. Working with the Haitian Scouts, from registration to arrival, our staff will inform and keep families together as they travel.

The agency’s child-friendly spaces (for children and youth) at Corail Cesselesse will provide activities to help Jean Steve, Romario, and hundreds of other children maintain a normal routine, as well as provide informal education activities while schools come on line.

Save the Children also will register children for school, train teachers and provide them with education supplies.

Learn more about our emergency response to the earthquake in Haiti.

Help Us Respond to the Haiti Earthquake Emergency. Please Donate Now.

YOU CAN DONATE $10 TO THE HAITI EARTHQUAKE RELIEF FUND BY TEXTING “SAVE” to 20222 (US Only). Standard message rates  apply.  

“Ugly Betty” Art Auction Raises Money for School in Mali

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Michelle Morrison, Save the Children, internet communications intern

New York, New York 

April 12, 2010 

 It was nothing short of magical.

America_ferrera At the request of America Ferrera, a roomful of people quietly knelt to the floor to watch a video depicting the small village in Mali, Africa where America is working with Save the Children to build a school. 

“We’re talking about four walls,” she said to the crowd, as she told the story of the people she met and the things she saw on her trip to Mali. 

America stood tall on a small platform, looking over the crowd and insisting that every child has the right to an education, especially in Mali, where more than nearly 800,000 children do not attend school. (Pictured at right, America at the auction. Photo Credit: Susan Warner / Save the Children)

Her voice swelled and cracked as she described how much the people of Mali have done for themselves already, and how simple it is to give them the hand up they need: four walls, desks, teachers, sanitation facilities. 

Nearly 200 people were at the Axelle Fine Arts Gallerie in New York City on Monday night for an art auction of paintings featured in an episode of ABC’s “Ugly Betty.” The money raised by the event will go to support a school that America and Save the Children are working to build in Mali. 

America, a Save the Children Artist Ambassador for education, was joined by fellow cast members Daniel Eric Gold, Mark Indelicato, Judith Light, Ana Ortiz and Vanessa Williams. 

America_ferrera_auction Cast members stood atop a small platform and played auctioneers, joking with the crowd and egging on the bidders.  

Pictured at right, Mark Indelicato and Ana Ortiz, who play Betty’s nephew Justin and sister Hilda on the show, played to the bidders, saying, “Ten years from now, when we’re doing the second Ugly Betty movie, this will be worth a lot!” (Photo Credit: Susan Warner / Save the Children)

By the end of the night, nine paintings were sold by live and silent auction. Some cast members lingered afterward, mingling with guests, signing autographs and nibbling on the hors d’oeuvres donated by KGFare Catering & Events. 

From where I stood near the entrance, it was easy to see and feel the enthusiasm and generosity of everyone who attended. Even the coat room attendants donated their tips to Save the Children at the end of the evening. As the room emptied, I looked around at all the iconic images of America as Betty Suarez and I thought to myself, “This is what it really means to be a star.”

View the slideshow below featuring photos from America Ferrera's visit to Mali.

 

Nafy’s Story: Kangaroo Mother Care in Mali

R10-MA__-70a Dr. Nialen Kaba, Save the Children, project assistant for newborn survival and health

Bamako, Mali

April 14, 2010

I met Nafy on a visit to the Kangaroo Mother Care unit at Gabriel Toure Hospital in Bamako, Mali this past December. She was proud to be carrying her newborn son on her chest.

At delivery, Nafy was upset when the midwife told her that her baby was very small, weighing only 1200 grams (2.6 pounds). When her husband Adama learned of the baby’s condition, his joy quickly faded and he decided not to give the child a name. So, Nafy named him Ismael.

The day after Ismael was born, he was transferred to the pediatrics unit of the hospital. Expecting the worst, Nafy was relieved to learn that her baby had no abnormalities. However, because he was born premature, he would need to be kept warm to help him gain weight and grow.

She was told about Kangaroo Mother Care, a recently accepted practice in Mali that when coupled with a mother’s determination could help Ismael survive. 

View a photo essay featuring moms and babies in the Kangaroo Mother Care ward at Gabriel Toure Hospital in Bamako, Mali.

Nafy quickly adopted the Kangaroo Mother Care method in hopes of seeing her baby survive. She was forced to cope with Ismael alone because her husband Adama and his family were convinced that her efforts would be in vain. 

Their reaction only reinforced Nafy’s resolve. She practiced Kangaroo Mother Care and Ismael gained weight day by day. 

Her slogan was, “She who gives birth to a snake, attaches him to her waist.” The slogan means: Whatever the physical and mental condition of her baby, a mother is always ready to do whatever it takes to help her child survive. 

Each year, about 900,000 newborns worldwide die due to premature births. In Mali, more than 14 percent of newborns are born premature, according to the 2006 Mali Demographic Health Survey. But since the kangaroo care center opened 20 months ago, sover 550 babies have benefitted.

Learn how more than 50 percent of newborn deaths could be saved through Kangaroo Mother Care.

On the day I visited Nafy, Ismael was entering his third week of life.  He weighed 2800 grams (6 pounds) and wiggled to break free from the chest of his mother, who never stopped smiling.

Learn more about Survive to 5, Save the Children's campaign to save the lives of children under 5.

President Preval of Haiti Visits Save the Children’s Medical Clinic

President Preval of Haiti visits Save the Children’s Medical Clinic and meets the staff.

Kathryn BollesHeadshotKathryn Bolles, Save the Children's director, emergency health and nutrition 

Petionville Club Camp, Medical Clinic

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

April 10, 2010

This morning, the first population movement left Petionville Club and relocated to Corail. Of the original 200 planned for the first day, only approximately 60 families made it out. Tomorrow, 800 persons are scheduled to move in scheduled convoys starting at 7.30 am.>

A group of us went to the  Petionville Club camp to observe the registration and protection activities, and saw a line of approximately 250-300 people waiting at the registration table–they had chosen the Corail option.

Our protection staff left at 6 am this morning to set up two Child Friendly Spaces tents a bit down from the reception area (they were the nicest and most welcoming tents in the place), and our health and nutrition clinics staff set up two tents for the medical clinic at the reception area.

President Preval arrived unexpectedly and shortly after the first buses, at approximately 3 pm. He walked around the camp with the Petionville Camp leader, Pastor St-Cyr, and came to our medical clinic.

A group photo is at right with Dr. Frantz Codio (our clinic team leader on the left), President Preval (middle), and Pastor St Cyr (right).

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The Pastor told President Preval that Save the Children has been providing  medical care to the people in Petionville Club since the first earthquake struck on Jan. 12, and that we work all day, 6 days a week. President Preval thanked our team for our good work and asked us to please continue.

Pictured below are the medical team including me. We're ready and waiting for the people to arrive.

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The area is desolate, incredibly hot, and like a desert with dust blowing all around. UN bulldozers were working, 2 water bladders were filled and a few latrines were set up.

Reception area tents were very well-organized and color-coded, and large-font instructions in Creole informed arrivees on how to find the medical tent, and that each family will have help setting up their personal tents and will receive food and a hygiene kit.

I’m sure this scene will look much different in 5 days.

Learn more about our emergency response to the earthquake in Haiti.

Help Us Respond to the Haiti Earthquake Emergency. Please Donate Now.

YOU CAN DONATE $10 TO THE HAITI EARTHQUAKE RELIEF FUND BY TEXTING “SAVE” to 20222 (US Only). Standard message rates  apply.