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.

SC_AZ07

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.  

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).

RZDPres.Preval

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.

DSCMEDTEAMBOLLESRZD_0615

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.