Early Childhood Development – First 1,000 Days
In Haiti, chronic malnutrition affects 24% of children under five, with that rate increasing in rural areas. Malnutrition leads to a multitude of problems including stunted physical and mental growth, abandoned or “orphaned” children, and in extreme cases, death. Seeing this first hand, the First 1,000 Days program was born.
“Mil Jou” in creole means 1000 Days. The Mil Jou program focuses on the First 1000 Days of a child’s life (birth through age 2) and provide critical early intervention and education for health, spiritual development, protection, brain development and nutrition to provide the best possible start in life for these precious little ones. When children and families successfully complete Mil Jou (First 1000 Days), they will have the opportunity to move into a second phase, which includes preschool and additional education and training opportunities for the family.
In this program, both the child and the caregiver receive:
- Five meals per week
- Immunizations and monthly check-ups by health agent
- Opportunities for early learning and stimulation activities to increase brain development
- Ample clean water
- Community time, with Bible stories and songs
- Basic health education for the mothers/caregivers
- Access to paid medical expenses, when necessary
With our 2014 graduating class, these kids grew an average of 3.5″ in height and gained an average of 5.5 pounds in weight. For the average child in the U.S., a three year old will grow 2-3″ and gain 4 pounds. As you can see, we exceeded the averages for physical development in a year, even in Haiti. You can support this program by becoming a Love in Action Partner through our Love in Action initiative.
Primary School Education – 180 for Haiti
According to UNICEF, 40% of children in Haiti do not attend primary school. This fact says attend, not graduate. Worse yet, only 18% of males and 21% of females attend secondary school. Only one out of three who start primary education will finish 6th grade. That leaves roughly 1.4 million children under the age of 15 not getting any formal education. Haiti’s education rate is one of the worst in the world.
This is unacceptable, as educating the next generation is one of the areas that can help break the cycle of poverty. To prevent this from happening in the future, we run the 180 for Haiti school scholarship programs. Our current projects:
- Sponsor 240 children at three different schools around the Savanette area (North of Pignon)
- Built the Pella Christian School in Ba Savanette, including deep clean water well and cooking kitchen
- A sponsorship includes: scholarships to attend school, books and school supplies, school uniform, check-ups by health agent, lunch program, and medicine as needed.
To sponsor a child in school, please click here to find out more information.