Emotional Help for Children

FROM: OperationSAFE: Children with Trauma

Helping Children in Haiti 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.

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