Updated: Feb 22
Overcoming Trauma in Haiti
February marks six months since the devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake that injured thousands and destroyed whole communities. But the damage didn’t end when the shaking stopped. The quake and its aftershocks have left many in the communities Overture serves traumatized and fearful.
That’s why the Healthcare pillar of the Overture Social Support Model is so critical at this juncture of the earthquake recovery process.
Through our healthcare services, made possible by our donors and delivered by local professionals and trained community members, we are focusing significant resources on trauma counseling.
Often at the request of community leaders, we’re providing access to local licensed counselors and trained support staff who are walking with our friends in southern Haiti as they work through the fear and trauma that lingers from the earthquake, and is brought back with recent smaller quakes and tremors. Please be in prayer for the community members and those who are on the front lines serving them.
“Since the earthquake I live with a permanent fear. I am really scared especially at night because I think if it happens again, I will not have time to go out and will die. Many times I wake up in the middle of the night with nightmares where I see it happening again and I start running. Just the movement of my husband at night, wakes me up and I think the house is shaking and it is happening again. After the aftershocks last week I decided to sleep outside of my home in order to have some sleep at night. As a primary teacher, working in my classroom located in the first floor, I have a hard time staying focused because when the students on the second floor make noise with their feet it feels like the earthquake and I look to the door, ready to run out." Natacha, a primary teacher
Here in the states, February is a month for celebrating love and those we love. For Overture, it’s the month we focus on showing love to our friends in southern Haiti through our Haiti Love campaign.
No matter the trauma, obstacles and chaos that exists in Haiti, this is the time to demonstrate our love by investing in strengthening families and communities. To show love by providing opportunities and skills that equip them for independence and self-sufficiency. That helps them work through trauma and paralyzing fear so they can become even more engaged and productive in their families and communities.
For it is only love if we leave them in a better position than when we began our work. So join us today in celebrating our affection and admiration of those we serve by investing in Haiti Love!!
Social Support Model
The foundation of showing our love in Haiti is our Overture Social Support Model. This is our framework for empowering and equipping individuals and communities to overcome generational dependence and move to a more self-sufficient life. When you invest in Overture, and in our Haiti Love campaign, you’re enabling us to continue to expand our reach into the most vulnerable communities in Haiti to provide them the physical, medical and social infrastructure they need to become autonomous and independent.
We wanted to give you a clearer picture of the Overture Social Support Model and the five pillars on which it is built. Each of these pillars have played and are playing a significant role in the recovery and rebuilding efforts that continue in our communities. These pillars are what love in action looks like for Overture and those we serve.
Social Empowerment provides hope and a vision for the future, empowering individuals to be effective role models and community members contributing to building Haiti Stronger. Our work includes providing social support by licensed Haitian social workers improves the wellbeing of families through assessments, counseling, workshops and the facilitation of services. Adults are also offered access to business training, job skills and employment counseling to help them develop and strengthen their ability to generate income to support their families. Overture also facilitates leadership training to equip community members to be self-directed and to foster a culture of self-governance.
We believe education is a powerful catalyst for change and progress. Overture provides education through offering full or partial scholarships, facilitating teacher training programs and building new classrooms in areas where children lack access to education. And our Young Adult Empowerment program and business training guides students toward a productive and sustainable career through training and skills development.
Overture equips communities and schools with nutritional resources that are scarce, or non-existent, so community members can provide for their own families and students. Self-sufficiency is always our goal. Hot lunch programs in schools provide nutritional and educational benefits. Community meal programs provide nutrition, social engagement and economic benefits.
Every new home creates a working community and strengthens the local economy. Overture empowers the community toward self-sustainability by collaborating with local leadership, purchasing local supplies and hiring local community members to build their homes. Local crew members are able to support their families while gaining hands-on experience that equips them for future employment and long-term success.
In most of the rural communities we serve, families are unable to access even the most basic healthcare due to lack of finances, transportation or access to services. Through both our mobile clinics and our clinic at ESPWA, we are able to provide access to quality medical care, public health education and mental health counseling.
Thanks to our generous donors, Overture and our community members have accomplished amazing progress and had a significant impact on recovering from the devastating earthquake, physically, mentally and emotionally. But it truly is just the beginning. We’re in the early stages of activating our Overture Social Support Model in our 10 priority communities. There is still considerable work to do in order to expand access to and capacity of the various programs that are working to solve the generational issues of hunger, poverty and lack of access to education, employment and healthcare.
Haiti Love means empowering these communities to persevere and conquer these issues so that they, and their future generations, have the opportunity to experience the true freedom that comes from living independent, self-sufficient lives. Learn how you can show your Haiti Love today!!