OperationSAFE: Haiti ~ Helping Children With Trauma

Beginning in March, OperationSAFE will start bringing smiles back to the children of Haiti who have suffered so much in the recent earthquake.  Children who have experienced trauma need more than just food, shelter and medicine – they need hugs, hope and help.

According to a recently released study of children affected by Hurricane Katrina published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the estimated prevalence of serious emotional disturbances (SED) among residents of the affected areas was 14.9 percent. Of those, 9.3 percent of youths were believed to have SED that was directly attributable to Hurricane Katrina. Characteristics of SED include inappropriate behavior, depression, hyperactivity, eating disorders, fears and phobias, and learning difficulties for children younger than 18.

We are partnering with Haitian Artisans for Peace International (HAPI), a community development non-profit organization that has long-term work in the mountain village of Mizak near Jacmel.  This video was made by one of their volunteers before the quake, of the village and the work they are doing in helping impoverished families start economically viable small businesses.

Since the disaster much of their focus has been on immediate needs and they are bringing in relief, medical and construction teams to help the community rebuild.  OperationSAFE will train and supply teams that will work alongside the medical component with the children, with the goal of rapidly passing on the ongoing trauma work to Haitian locals.


Already we have become a team of international proportions with Japanese, Chinese, American, Canadian, French and Haitians helping.  Materials are being translated into French/Creole, and posters, storyboards and character medallions are being produced to help children remember the important lessons they will learn.  Games, songs and crafts all need to be localized and leaders need to be trained.  We are bringing in our best trainers from China, where they have been using the material for two years with children who suffered trauma in the Great Sichuan Earthquake.

Although we will not be able to accept volunteers at this time to go to Haiti, we still need your help on this team as well.  We have a very short time to prepare everything needed for the camp beforehand – nothing will be available locally in Haiti.  We also have little time to raise money before we start training in late February.

  1. Your generous donation today will help us bring Haitian children their smiles back,
  2. You can spread this appeal by hitting the Retweet button or the Facebook Share button.
  3. You can add your comment to this post to send your encouragement to the children in Haiti.
  4. You can partner with OperationSAFE — donate your passion and creativity!

With your help Haitian children will know “I am not alone”!

Thank you,

Jonathan Wilson

OpSAFE International



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3 Responses to “OperationSAFE: Haiti ~ Helping Children With Trauma”

  1. RT @GreenHHome: OperationSAFE: Haiti ~ Helping Children With Trauma http://bit.ly/aZEbVu

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  3. Jonathan says:

    Thanks for the help!

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