Posted in Mission Stories

Update On The Children In Port-au-Prince….

Published Date: 27 January 2010

By Ben Fox and Vivian Sequera in Port-Au-Prince

A TEENAGER was today pulled out of rubble of the College St Gerard in Port-au-Prince 15 days after an earthquake devastated Haiti. The last previous survivor was rescued on Saturday, when a man was pulled from the ruins of a hotel grocery store.

Darlene Etienne, 17, was suffering from severe dehydration and had a leg injury when French rescuers freed her. A cousin who had joined in the rescue effort said: “We thought she was dead.”

Aid agencies last night said thousands of orphans were among those being looked after in the poverty-stricken country now facing starvation.

Many of the countless thousands of children scattered among Port-au-Prince’s makeshift camps of homeless have nobody to care for them, aid workers say, leaving them without protection against disease, child predators and other risks.

“They are extremely vulnerable,” said Kate Conradt, a spokeswoman for Save the Children. She added that United Nations experts say there may be a million youngsters who lost at least one parent in the 12 January quake, or are separated from their families.

Some young Haitians are even being released from hospitals with no-one to care for them because there are not enough beds for them. “Health workers are being advised to monitor and send separated/unaccompanied children to child-friendly spaces,” the UN humanitarian office said in its latest situation report.

The UN children’s agency, Unicef, along with Save the Children and the Red Cross, has begun registering at-risk children and has identified three interim care centres at orphanages where they can be sheltered temporarily, said Bo Viktor Nylund, a Unicef adviser for child protection.

Save the Children, meanwhile, has set up “child spaces” in 13 makeshift settlements. In addition, the three agencies are working to reunite families, by creating a database of separated family members.

“This is just the beginning of the exercise,” Mr Nylund said. “Considering the number of people who died, we are expecting children in the thousands who have lost their parents.”

The plight of the young is especially poignant, even in a country where the UN estimates one-third of the nine million people need international assistance.

At Port-au-Prince General Hospital, Haitian-born pediatrician Winston Price, a volunteer from New York, was caring for 80 children in four tents in the hospital grounds. A handful had been brought in with no clues as to the whereabouts of their families.

“Maybe some of these parents are not even looking because their house was destroyed and they might think the kid was inside,” he said. “But maybe the kid was pulled out, so they are missing each other.”

Children left alone are everywhere. At one of the 13 Save the Children sites, about 25 children have no adult relatives taking care of them, said Ms Conradt, who added the group had helped 6,000 children since the quake.

The child spaces are cordoned-off areas where children can play under supervision, “giving them a chance to return to normalcy as much as they can”, she said.

Such areas also protect children against abduction by traffickers, a chronic problem in pre-quake Haiti, said Deb Barry, an emergency protection adviser with Save the Children.

She said her organization was working to track down every rumor it heard about threats to stranded children, “but we haven’t been able to verify those thus far”.

Posted in Mission Stories

Understanding NWHCM Website

I have had several people email me and ask how to find things on the website. So I wanted to take this moment to help you understand how our homepage works.

The Mission’s Website Is:

When you land on the Homepage:

We have rotating stories on the top. When you click any of those pictures it will take you to the story that goes with the picture.

Underneath the story (but above the WELCOME) there is a place you can click to see pictures of Andy and Jose’s trip in PAP. Beware – these photos may not be suitable for children. They are done in very good taste but show you the reality of Haiti.


On the left-hand side of the website you see all kinds of paragraphs. These are all updates from the mission. The first paragraph is a new notice that was just posted today about Medical Volunteers. Underneath that it talks about the IRS letting you still claim donations that you make right now on your 2009 taxes. The 3rd paragraph is where you can find updates from the field. These are little updates of what is happening here. Melissa or myself will be emailing information to our Media Director – Andy Olsen – and he will be posting those updates there.


On the right-side of the mission website – you’ll see another slew of paragraphs. All those paragraphs are from the blogs of the missionaries. Not all the missionaries feel like each post they write needs to be on the main site. So even if you don’t see updates on the home-page – it doesn’t necessarily mean that they didn’t write something new. You can always go to the staff page of the website to find the missionary blogs. If you click About Us and then underneath that click Our Staff that will take you to all the staff. You can find their blog-links beside their pictures. Also – most of us missionaries link each other on our blogs. So if you get confused – just click on the blog (even if you’ve already read it) and you can navigate from one blog to another by clicking the links we have on the sides.

Mission Trips

Underneath the Welcome  (dead-center of the homepage) you will find information about our upcoming trips. For example: We will not be processing applications until February 1st. This is because this is a rapidly changing Haiti. Yesterday we could buy plane tickets to come into Haiti February 2nd. By the afternoon we found out the airport is closed until February 19th. It could be longer. So to be updated on how the earthquake is effecting trips – you want to check the middle of  the homepage for that information.

Now if you want to come to Haiti and see what our upcoming trips are. If you click in the upper right-hand corner (Beside the rotating pics) you will see NORTHWEST HAITI TRIPS. Simply click that link and you’ll see all the trips the mission is offering.

To find out more information about trips – the costs of trips – FAQ – download a trip booklet – you want to click on GET INVOLVED. There is information right there in the center of the webpage that talks about Trip Photos, Trip Blogs, and Trip Payments. If you want more information – Right underneath the GET INVOLVED there are some sub-categories that are GREEN. If you click MISSION TRIPS WITH NWHCM – – you are going to find so much information! That is where you find out about Trip Costs, FAQ, Mission Travel Booklet, Trip Applications, etc.


There are several ways you can give. Whether it’s for a missionary, earthquake relief, or paying for a trip. If you click GIVE – from the homepage – it will walk you through setting up an account with the mission. You can also click GET INVOLVED and there is a place where you can enter in your trip payments. We also have a brand-new way to give by TEXTING from your phone. That explanation can be found on the left-hand side of the homepage.

I hope this has been helpful. There is so much information – so dig in! You’ll learn a lot about what NWHCM is doing! 🙂

Here is also a link from the mission website that will give you information on how to navigate around it- click here