At the onset of the earthquake emergency response, J/P HRO became the official camp manager of one of the largest camps for earthquake survivors who had lost their homes. The Pétionville Camp, together with the neighboring Cité Maxo Camp housed approximately 60,000 individuals at their peak in 2010. Over the last three years, over 75 percent of camp families have returned to their communities and, as of April 2013, 13,290 displaced individuals remain. J/P HRO has committed to the camp residents and to assisting them in the transition to the surrounding neighborhoods. In 2013, J/P HRO programs will continue redevelopment and reconstruction projects in adjoining neighborhoods, such as Delmas 32, providing displaced families and local residents a vibrant, safe and secure community where they can return and begin to rebuild their lives.
J/P HRO’s Camp Management Team is actively involved in upholding living standards in the camps, an activity that becomes increasingly challenging as the focus of work in Haiti shifts from emergency and recovery to reconstruction and development. The team has a proactive public information program to ensure that camp residents are aware and vigilant against health risks. Social issues that are specific to camp life and the hardships imposed by harsh living conditions are also addressed. As Haiti is vulnerable to extreme weather events, such as Hurricanes Isaac and Sandy, J/P HRO has taken broad measures to mitigate risk—such as flooding, epidemic outbreaks and loss of personal valuables—and implement an effective emergency response plan. J/P HRO provides repair and rebuilding materials and assistance of emergency shelters and infrastructure to ensure the safety of the most vulnerable of camp residents. It also provides watershed management and solid waste removal. In coordination with other J/P HRO programs, our medical teams at two nearby clinics provide camp residents with access to free emergency care and primary health care for a nominal fee. Primary education for children residing in the camp, as well as those who have been recently relocated, is provided free of charge through the Ecole de l’Espoir, or School of Hope.
J/P HRO’s goal is to empower camp residents in taking leadership roles within their own community, and to coordinate efforts to ensure the safety and security of themselves and camp neighbors, as well as the needed maintenance of camp infrastructure.
Protection and Communication
In response to the unique challenges of camp life, the Protection and Communications Team at J/P HRO is offering aid and support to camp residents with a wide array of specific needs. The team’s tasks ranges from guaranteeing that survivors of reported cases of abuse and sexual violence have access to medical care, psychosocial support and legal aid—and are accompanied throughout these processes—to offering immediate relocation packages, if necessary. They also assist individuals and families with disabilities, and ensure that tents are rebuilt following heavy rains, fires or acts of vandalism.
On a larger scale, the Protection and Communications team works hard to combat some of society’s greater challenges, such as child domesticity and gender-based violence. Through tent-to-tent awareness raising campaigns, trainings and workshops, the Protection and Communications team actively aims to increase both the knowledge and the capacity of community members to prevent and respond to such sensitive issues.
J/P HRO’s mission to “Help Haiti Home” requires a great deal of effort and coordination to ensure that each step of the process is managed efficiently and sustainably. We are working to help communities rebuild and return to strong neighborhoods complete with public services and personal support. Together our programs provide comprehensive assistance throughout the process from camp life to independent living back home.