May 28 2010

New and innovative shelters to house children in Haiti

28/05/2010 - SOS Children's Villages is constructing prefabricated houses (Global Village Shelters) in the SOS Children's Village in Santo near Port-au-Prince. The polypropylene shelters will house families of up to six children and their SOS mothers for the years to come, enabling SOS Children's Villages to continue providing quality care to the over 300 unaccompanied and/or orphaned children who have found refuge at the Santo village after the January's devastating earthquake.

Photo: Line Wolf Nielsen
"Global Village Shelters" for more than 300 children in Santo - Photo: Line Wolf Nielsen
Since the earthquake, the SOS Children's Village in Santo has tripled the number of children in its care. Currently 433 children are living in Santo and it is feared that the number of unaccompanied and orphaned children in need of alternative care will increase in the coming months. That is why it is even more critical that as the search continues for biological relatives, SOS Children's Villages provides shelters that give children, who have lost not only homes but families, the feeling of stability and security.

The "Global Village Shelters" set a new standard for mid-term emergency housing. Unlike temporary tent or tarp setups, the Global Village Shelters are rigid, fully enclosed structures, complete with doors and windows. The 226-square foot shelters will function as single-family homes or larger community facilities. Smaller 67-square foot shelters will be used as showers and latrines. As the rainy season of Haiti descends, the shelters will remain dry and secure and are intended for three to five years of use.

These shelters can be easily erected by relief workers, making them all the more critical as Haiti heads into its rainy season. Similar emergency shelters have been used in Pakistan, Honduras, Guatemala, and Grenada.