One Year Later in Haiti: Hope But Still Great Need

Publication Date: 
March 11, 2011

Children who were among Haiti's poorest even before the devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010, are finally back at school, albeit in temporary structures amidst piles of debris and crumpled buildings. Great suffering still continues.

While media attention has shifted away from Haiti and much of the world has moved on, long lines stretch from feeding centers at Salesian locations throughout the country, as famished and homeless families eagerly await a single serving of food. Disease, famine and despair are widespread, and the death toll continues to rise each day.

Salesian Students Helping Themselves And Others

Despite enormous destruction and emotional trauma, Haitian youngsters are showing remarkable courage, strength and determination. Nearly 23,000 students and 1,200 teachers have returned to 10 Salesian school sites where they are busy rebuilding. Carpentry students are assembling new desks while the sewing classes are hemming school uniforms. Salesian alumni have been hired to construct temporary classrooms as well as homes and other buildings.

Our Long-Term Commitment To Haiti

The Salesians are committed to the children and families of Haiti just as we have since 1935 when we first entered the impoverished country. With the continued support of our generous friends and benefactors, we will work endlessly to help the Haitian people. Here's how:

  • We will continue to supply emergency food, shelter and medicine that can make the difference between the fine line of life and death.
  • We will engage the Salesian community – missionaries, teachers, students, parents and volunteers – in the reconstruction process for greatest effectiveness.
  • We will rebuild the educational infrastructure that will empower Haitian children to pursue a better life for themselves and future generations.

Please Stay Involved

We encourage you to learn more about our ongoing work in Haiti by visiting, our official website devoted to this important cause. We also hope you will make a donation whenever possible knowing that just a few dollars can feed a child, provide a life-saving dose of medicine or purchase a book for an eager student.