Advertising

The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds | seattletimes.com

Nation & World


Our network sites seattletimes.com | Advanced

Originally published January 19, 2010 at 8:59 PM | Page modified January 20, 2010 at 2:51 PM

Comments (0)     E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

Haiti quake creates thousands of new orphans

Teeming with orphans even before last week's disaster, Haiti faces the likelihood that many more children are now alone in the world.

How to help:

Locally based agencies along with other international relief organizations are accepting monetary donations to help with aid efforts in the aftermath of Tuesday's earthquake in Haiti. (Meanwhile, beware of scams.)

American Red Cross, 800-733-2767 or www.redcross.org, or text "Haiti" to 90999 to donate $10. The amount will be added to your next phone bill. Also, here's a list of Red Cross chapters and ways Seattle-area residents can help.

Mercy Corps, Portland, 800-852-2100 or www.mercycorps.org

Northwest Medical Teams, Portland, 800-959-4325 or www.nwmedicalteams.org

World Concern, Seattle, 800-755-5022 or www.worldconcern.org

World Vision, Federal Way, 888-511-6548 or www.worldvision.org

American Jewish World Service, New York, 212.792.2900 or www.ajws.org

Lutheran World Relief, Portland, 410-230-2800 or www.lwr.org/

United Methodist Committee on Relief, New York, (800) 554-8583 or http://new.gbgm-umc.org/umcor/

UNICEF To donate to the ongoing emergency relief efforts in Haiti and the Caribbean region, please visit: www.unicefusa.org/haitiquake or call 1-800-4UNICEF.

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) To donate to the official humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic Church. Call 1-877-HELP-CRS or www.crs.org, or send a check to CRS/ Archdiocese of Seattle, 710 Ninth Ave, Seattle, Wa. 98104

Starfish Ministries The organization in Lynden, WA supports an orphanage in Haiti. To donate call (360) 354-2789 or vistit starfishministries.org.

Salvation Army Donations can be made through 1-800-SAL-ARMY, or www.salvationarmyusa.org, or text "Haiti" to 52000 to make a $10 donation.

InterAction, a coalition of U.S.-based international non-governmental organizations, has a list of agencies responding and how to donate to them. www.interaction.org

International Rescue Committee: Visit www.theIRC.org or call toll free, 1-877-REFUGEE.

Oxfam: Visit www.oxfam.org.uk

USA Today NGOs, faith-based organizations contributing to relief efforts. Visit Kindness: New ways we give and volunteer

MSNBC: A list of charitable organizations in the U.S. coordinating relief efforts. Visit Haiti Earthquake: How to help

Charity Navigator's list of organizations working in Haiti and their charity ranking. Visit www.charitynavigator.org.

Better Business Bureau's tips on text donations. Visit BBB advice on donating by text.

Related stories, resources and videos

UPDATE - 04:19 PM
Mother of rescued quake girl never gave up hope

NEW - 04:17 PM
A glance at Haiti developments 16 days after quake

UPDATE - 04:19 PM
Haiti's children on their own on shattered streets

AP: Haiti govt gets 1 penny of US quake aid dollar

Haiti quake may have revealed oil reserves

U.K. 7-year-old raises $160,000 for Haiti

US death toll in Haiti quake nearing 100

Saudi: Government donates $50 million to Haiti

Amputees in Haiti face a tough road

Travolta flies jetload of relief supplies to Haiti

More than 80 million see Haiti aid telethon

Questions remain about U.S. military presence in Haiti

Stars answer the call at 'Hope For Haiti Now' telethon

Haiti quake poses key test for American Red Cross

Haiti earthquake gives Guantanamo new mission

Senate votes for faster tax breaks for Haiti gifts

U.S. charity for Haiti outpaces giving after tsunami

2004 Indian Ocean tsunami lessons applied in Haiti

200,000 Haitians expected to stay in U.S., send money home

Haiti quake creates thousands of new orphans

Haiti: How to help

McChord C-17 carries weary survivors from earthquake destruction

Haiti's history created bond with blacks in America

Senegal offers land to Haitians that want to come

Canada to speed up immigration requests from Haiti

Laid-off teacher Jesse Hagopian lauded for aid to quake victims

From the ground | First person accounts from Haiti, through Monday

From the ground | First person accounts from Haiti, through Saturday

From the ground | First person accounts from Haiti, through Friday

Excerpts from Molly Hightower's blog

Seattle couple suddenly become medical workers

Bellevue firms help with wireless service, donations

Haiti: Where will all the money go?

Why Haiti is always in a state of despair

Timeline of Haiti's natural disasters

The world's deadliest quakes since 1970

CNN iReport | Upload photos of missing Haitian loved ones

Video | U.S. Navy's floating hospital arrives

Gallery | Images from Haiti, Monday, Jan. 19

Gallery | Haiti quake, Sunday

Gallery | Haiti quake, Saturday

Gallery | Haiti quake, Friday

Gallery | Haiti quake, Thursday

Gallery | Haiti quake, Wednesday

Raw Video | McChord C-17 carries survivors from Haiti

Video | McChord C-17 delivers relief, evacuates survivors from Haiti

Gallery | McChord airlifts aid to Haiti

Gallery | Latest images from Haiti, Wed., Jan. 20

Gallery | Latest images from Haiti, Thu., Jan. 21

Gallery | Latest images from Haiti, Fri., Jan. 22

Relief Agencies' blogs, live updates

Twitter List | Haiti Relief Efforts

Mercy Corps

American Red Cross

World Concern | Haiti Earthquake Updates

World Vision | Devastation in Haiti following quake

UNICEF | Field Notes

International Rescue Committee | Voices from the Field

Medical Teams International | Press Releases

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — In a place desperately in need of miracles, here's one: Scores of children about to enter the dining room of a church were spared when dinner was late.

Other kids survived because Seker Dorval, 17, one of the oldest boys in the Reformation Hope orphanage, thought it his responsibility to chase the little ones away from Pastor Jean Jacob Paul's church.

"Get away; dinner is not ready," he yelled in Creole.

Some of the younger children were cranky and hungry. They strayed away from the larger group playing outside in the grass-and-gravel courtyard. Inside, the tables were set, but the staff was still cooking. "Stay outside with the others," the older boy said.

Then the earth began to shake and, in seconds, with a crack and a roar and the screams of children, the roof of the building housing the dining room and the church collapsed. It pancaked on what would have been more than 60 children and staff members if dinner were on time.

"We have lost everything and yet we have lost nothing," said Paul, the pastor, a former New York City cabdriver. "It can't be anything but a miracle."

Even before last week's magnitude-7.0 earthquake, Haiti, one of the world's poorest countries, was awash in orphans, with 380,000 children living in orphanages or group homes, the United Nations Children's Fund reported on its Web site.

Now, tens of thousands of children likely have been orphaned by the earthquake, aid groups say — so many that officials won't venture a number.

Many alone

With countless buildings destroyed and growing chaos in the capital, it is conceivable that many children are alone.

"As yet they are still on the streets," said Elizabeth Rodgers, of the Britain-based international orphan group SOS Children. "Without doubt, most of them are in the open."

Some of the children lost their parents in previous disasters, including four tropical storms or hurricanes that killed about 800 people in 2008, deadly storms in 2005 and 2004, and massive floods almost every other year since 2000.

advertising

Others were abandoned amid the Caribbean nation's long-running political strife, which has led thousands to seek asylum in the U.S. without their children, or by parents simply too poor to care for them.

Help extended

International groups are trying to help, either by speeding up adoptions already in progress or by sending in relief personnel to evacuate thousands of orphans to the U.S. and other countries.

On Tuesday, a flight carrying more than 50 Haitian children from infants to age 10 landed in Pittsburgh. The children were examined by pediatricians at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, spokesman Marc Lukasiak said, and will be placed in group homes until their adoptions are finalized.

Their orphanage was destroyed in the quake, and their American caretakers spent days in dire need of food and water. None of the children had been hurt, but some had suffered fevers or dehydration in the following days.

Meanwhile, a charter plane heading to Haiti to pick up 109 children being adopted by Dutch families will reach Port-au-Prince today, according to the Dutch government.

And Indiana-based Kids Alive International, which runs orphanages around the world, is expected to take 50 Haitian orphans to group homes in the Dominican Republic, the organization said in a news release.

U.S. Homeland Security spokesman Sean Smith said that orphans with ties to the United States — such as a family member living here — are among those who can get special permission to be here.

Notwithstanding the U.S. policy, the Catholic Church in Miami is working on a proposal that would allow thousands of orphaned children to come permanently to America. A similar effort launched in 1960, known as Operation Pedro Pan, brought about 14,000 unaccompanied children from Cuba to the U.S.

Under the new plan, dubbed "Pierre Pan," Haitian orphans would first be placed in group homes and then paired with foster parents, said Mary Ross Agosta, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Miami.

"We have children who are homeless and possibly without parents, and it is the moral and humane thing to do," Agosta said.

Archdiocese officials said many details would have to be worked out, and President Obama's administration would have to grant orphans humanitarian parole to enter the U.S.

In the meantime, U.N. humanitarian chief John Holmes said the United Nations is establishing a group whose mission on the ground in Haiti will be to protect children — orphans and non-orphans alike — against trafficking, kidnapping and sex abuse.

Orphanages that were operating in Haiti before the earthquake are scrambling to keep their kids safe, sheltered and fed. Those with damaged buildings are pledging to rebuild and take in more children, if needed.

Three of the four orphanages operated in Port-au-Prince by Planting Peace, a Melbourne, Fla., nonprofit, have been damaged, forcing staff to move everyone into one building.

They are now trying to secure homes in Haiti for the kids, the group's founder, Aaron Jackson, told The Associated Press in an e-mail. Seattle native Rainn Wilson, who appears in the TV show "The Office," is raising money for the group, Jackson said.

Jackson said all 37 of his orphans are physically fine and he would like to help more children.

"There needs to be some communication from the government level about what we need to do. Can we take these children?" he said. "We're ready. We've already raised a fair amount of money where we can go out and get an orphanage running soon."

E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

More Nation & World

UPDATE - 10:01 AM
Rebels tighten hold on Libya oil port

UPDATE - 09:29 AM
Reality leads US to temper its tough talk on Libya

UPDATE - 09:38 AM
2 Ark. injection wells may be closed amid quakes

Armed guards save Dutch couple from Somali pirates

Navy to release lewd video investigation findings

More Nation & World headlines...

Comments
No comments have been posted to this article.


Get home delivery today!

Video

Advertising

AP Video

Entertainment | Top Video | World | Offbeat Video | Sci-Tech

Marketplace

Advertising