Child in Syria. Photo by Terre des Hommes Italy
Terre des Hommes intervenes in emergency contexts to respond to the immediate needs of affected people. This is done through a range of humanitarian interventions, from the distribution of first aid items to instalment of systems for accessing drinking water and communal latrines. Beyond immediate logistic and material aid, Terre des Hommes developed a specific know-how on providing protection, care and psycho-social support for children “ and families – victims of natural disasters and conflicts, be it in urban areas, villages or camps.
To support children in emergency situation, Terre des Hommes helps them to overcome their trauma and to rediscover a normal life. This is done through a pedagogical approach based on play, sport and artistic activities. Terre des Hommes also offers an alternative education programme in places where the school system has partly or totally broken down or is inadequate. Furthermore, Terre des Hommes actively works with communities towards the progressive reorganisation of the social environment.
Since one year, the internal armed conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic has affected 2.5 million people, displacing 1.2 million internally and nearly 400,000 more across borders. Source: UNICEF
The earthquake that rocked Haiti on 12 January 2010 was one of the most deadly humanitarian crisis in recent history. It resulted in more victims than the 2004 Tsunami in Asia. Since then, Haiti has continued hit by a series of political crisis and natural disasters. The storm Isaac in September 2012 and the hurricane Sandy in November 2012 gave rise to new flare-ups of cholera. To date, Haiti has remained in a “lasting humanitarian emergency”.
Terre des Hommes has been operating in Haiti for decades. Immediately after the 2011 earthquake, the Terre des Hommes organisations succeeded in speeding up an unprecedented coordinated intervention to bring emergencies supply, shelter; health, malnutrition, child care, psychosocial support, recovery education and protecting children from violence. Since 2011, Terre des Hommes organisations followed-up in coordinating their activities for social reconstruction. This implied extensive work to support the re-launching of the agriculture cycle, to help local NGO partners to recover their action capacities, to empower local communities to re-start their life, with special emphasis on children.
Haiti represented both an historical humanitarian “drama” as well as an unprecedented success of emergency coordination among Terre des Hommes offices: From Copenhagen, Paris, Luxembourg, the Hague, Geneva, Lausanne, Milano and Osnabrueck: we acted quickly and together.