IDEJEN responds to catastrophic earthquake with food, support
On Tuesday, January 12, an earthquake of 7.3 magnitude rocked Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas, displacing most survivors. Since that date, the IDEJEN staff, despite having lost homes and loved ones, has worked hard to continue serving its youth populations. While most staff members have survived, IDEJEN mourns the loss of Artibonite field agent, Kencia François, in addition to IDEJEN technical trainer Jacqueline Despagne and five youth who perished when their training center, AKD (located at Delmas 11) collapsed. IDEJEN has not yet determined the status of all of its youth beneficiaries, including others who may have been in the collapsed center. Still, considering the number of youth served and the catastrophic nature of the disaster, the percentage of IDEJEN youth survivors thus far appears to be quite high.
IDEJEN is currently coordinating with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to provide immediate food relief to its surviving youth in the earthquake-affected areas. On Tuesday, January 26, IDEJEN staff members delivered bags of food and boxes of hygiene materials provided by CRS to youth from three centers at the Timkatec training center, located in Pétionville. Approximately 100 youth received the materials, which included items such as towels, toilet paper, rice, oil and other necessary items. On Thursday, January 28, IDEJEN conducted a similar distribution for approximately 180 youth from Lilavois and Moleard.
In addition to providing immediate relief, Education Development Center and IDEJEN staff members have been coordinating with USAID and other international partners to determine the future of the IDEJEN program. In addition to responding to immediate needs, IDEJEN intends to provide its youth with psychosocial support and child/youth-friendly safe spaces. Over the next several months, IDEJEN also hopes to engage its youth population in the rebuilding of their communities.
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