Port-au-Prince

Haiti’s western region includes the country’s central plain, as well as the island of La Gonâve and the capital city, Port-au-Prince. This region, with about 3 million of Haiti’s 9.7 million people, is the country’s economic and political center.
Haiti

Western Region

  • Even five years after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in western Haiti, roads remain in bad condition and streets are littered with rubble. Even five years after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in western Haiti, roads remain in bad condition and streets are littered with rubble.
  • Compassion-registered children have the opportunity to learn about God and His salvation by taking part in Sunday school services. Compassion-registered children have the opportunity to learn about God and His salvation by taking part in Sunday school services.
  • Vocational trainings such as art are part of the curriculum for registered children, giving students a chance to learn a marketable skill. Vocational trainings such as art are part of the curriculum for registered children, giving students a chance to learn a marketable skill.
  • Education is vital for a child to escape poverty. Sponsored children receive educational support and hope for a better future. Education is vital for a child to escape poverty. Sponsored children receive educational support and hope for a better future.
  • Children in the Compassion program have the opportunity to grow in every way: mind, body, heart and spirit. Children in the Compassion program have the opportunity to grow in every way: mind, body, heart and spirit.
  • This wood-and-tin shack is a one-room house for a family of five. This wood-and-tin shack is a one-room house for a family of five.
  • Tent cities sprung up all over the hillsides around the western region after an earthquake in 2010 as residents had nowhere to live. Tent cities sprung up all over the hillsides around the western region after an earthquake in 2010 as residents had nowhere to live.
 
HAITI OVERVIEW

Population

9,996,731

Religion

Roman Catholic

Weather

 
A Glimpse of Poverty in Western Haiti Western Haiti
  • Although Haiti averages 350 people per square kilometer, its population is concentrated most heavily in urban areas, coastal plains and valleys. More than 30 percent of the population lives in Port-au-Prince, the capital city.
  • The population of Port-au-Prince is difficult to measure due to the rapid growth of slums in the hillsides above the city. However, recent estimates place the metropolitan area’s population at around 3.7 million.
  • An earthquake catastrophically affected Port-au-Prince on Jan. 12, 2010, and damaged or destroyed a large number of structures. Of the more than 1 million people left homeless, nearly half now live in tents.
  • Through the efforts of both governmental and non-governmental organizations, many residents have moved to permanent and more secure housing, but 400,000 people are reportedly still living in tents.
  • Main concerns plaguing children include a high rate of unemployment averaging 75 percent, housing, pollution, security, juvenile delinquency, gang violence, food scarcity and waterborne diseases.
Culture Corner

CHIKTAY SAUCE

Rural Haitians use products from their gardens, such as breadfruit, to cook. Breadfruit is traditionally served with a kind of sauce called chiktay. The breadfruit is boiled for about 30 minutes before serving with chiktay sauce. Prepare sauce one day in advance and store in the refrigerator to allow flavors to blend. Estimated time: 20 minutes (without soaking time)

Haiti Recipe

Ingredients:

  • ½ c olive oil
  • ¼ c white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 habanero chiles, seeded*
  • ½ c chopped shallots
  • ½ c finely diced onion
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 lb skinless dried salt cod filet,** cut into 6 or 7 pieces if necessary

*Wash chile, cut in half, remove seeds and membranes and then mince finely.

**Salt cod can be found at Caribbean and Latin-American grocery stores.

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk oil with vinegar until mixture thickens, a few seconds.
  2. Add chiles, shallots, onion and black pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Soak cod in a large pot of hot boiled water for 12 hours, changing hot water 3 times, every 4 hours. Check for saltiness. Repeat process if necessary. Drain.
  4. Put cod between sheets of paper towel and squeeze out excess water.
  5. Flake cod very finely and transfer to olive oil mixture. Mix well. Season with salt and additional black pepper if necessary.
  6. Then, bring to a quick boil on medium heat for 3 minutes.
  7. Serve warm or at room temperature with homemade crackers or croutons.

*Wash chile, cut in half, remove seeds and membranes and then mince finely.

**Salt cod can be found at Caribbean and Latin-American groceries.

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COMMUNITY
Western Haiti Community
Issues and Concerns
  • Even before the devastation of the 2010 earthquake, Haitians living in the western region suffered the effects of deep poverty.
  • The lack of jobs leads many young people to become involved in gang activity, kidnapping for ransom, and prostitution.
  • City slums are especially dangerous places to be, as anyone can be targeted for mugging or kidnapping.
Local Needs and Challenges

Inadequate housing

Around the Port-au-Prince area, most homes that are built remain incomplete. This is due to lack of finances as well as family size.

Lack of medical personnel and facilities

There are only about seven doctors for every 10,000 people in the western region, and only 200 medical facilities to serve the needs of the entire population.

EDUCATION
Haiti education
Schools and Education
  • As throughout Haiti, the school year in the western region runs September through June.
  • In some heavily populated areas, children attend classes in either a morning shift (8 a.m. to 1 p.m.) or an afternoon shift (2 p.m. to 7 p.m.).
  • This shift system allows a school to accommodate more children. However, many of the region’s children do not attend school at all. As a result, illiteracy is a widespread problem.
  • About 80 percent of schools in the western region were destroyed by the 2010 earthquake and currently are meeting in tents or other temporary shelters.

Compassion Haiti works to ensure that every registered child is able to attend school, and it provides additional support, including tutoring, at the child development centers.

At the Compassion Child Development Center

At Compassion-assisted child development centers in Haiti’s western region, children receive the help and learning opportunities they need to reach their potential in Christ.

Along with nutritious meals for healthy physical development, they also receive medical assistance and hygiene training to stay healthy.

Tutoring helps to make up for any school deficiencies, and most important, they learn about the love of their heavenly Father.

What Compassion Sponsorship Provides

In partnership with local churches, Compassion is bringing real help and hope to impoverished children in western Haiti, providing:

  • regular nutritious meals and snacks
  • health checkups and medical care as needed
  • the support needed to attend school
  • non-formal education classes in such subjects as music, plastic arts, painting, culinary arts, sewing, calligraphy and cosmetology.
  • special grants for families who were earthquake victims in Port-au-Prince. Thanks to these loans, some Compassion caregivers have started their own income-generating activities.
  • new schools, constructed alongside Compassion centers. These buildings are more secure now and are better prepared for any quake, even one of a 7.0 magnitude.