The Child Survival Programme started in Haiti in 2003. There are now 67 projects throughout the country, ministering to 3,282 mothers and 3,261 children. Working through the local church, Compassion strives to ensure that children are given the best opportunities to survive and thrive in the all-important early years of development. In Haiti, Compassion does this by:
Teaching mothers basic reading, writing and maths skills
– including simple accounting and bookkeeping skills.
Providing workshops on income-generating skills.
These are dependent upon the available market for products and the affordability of training. Some of the skills offered include sewing, cooking and crafts.
Giving nutritional support.
Supplements are given to those who are malnourished or vulnerable to malnourishment – both mother and child. Caregivers are also assisted in making plans for sustainability so they can continue to provide for their family.
Men’s seminars are organised, encouraging fathers to take an active role in the development of their child and celebrations are held to recognise those that do so.
Transitioning children into the sponsorship programme when they reach the age of three.
Every CSP mother and caregiver is visited in their home at least once a month, often several times. In addition, all of the mothers and caregivers meet at the project at least once a month to take part in income-generating skills workshops, healthcare classes or basic reading and writing lessons.
Employing trained staff.
Every Child Survival project has at least two full-time staff members and many volunteer staff members, each having previous experience or being trained by Compassion.
The Child Survival Programme is making a significant difference in Haiti. Many of the internationally recognised health and pregnancy indicators show the difference that is being made through the work of the local church and Compassion
Each mother in the Child Survival Programme has four prenatal check-ups and a postnatal check-up within 48 hours of the birth. This is followed by at least one health screening in the preceding years. In addition, each child receives two health check-ups a year while they are in the Child Survival Programme. It is due to these screenings, the health workshops run by the church and the nutritional supplements provided, that such a significant difference is being made in Haiti.