Mercy Corps Helps Kids Cope
Kids still scared one year after earthquake
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8
Shortly after last year's earthquake in Haiti, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded a grant to Comfort for Kids, a program run by Mercy Corps. Comfort for Kids was founded after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, to help children deal with the mental challenges and injuries from a traumatic event.
In Haiti, Comfort for Kids is working with kids who still feel scared, anxious, or have trouble eating or sleeping after the massive earthquake of January 12, 2010.
Children affected by the earthquake are doing much better a year later said Lisa Hoashi, public information officer for Mercy Corp. But kids still have special needs that she and other volunteers can help meet.
"Even today, when trucks rumble by on the road, kids still get scared," she told the Scholastic Kids Press Corps. "But overall kids are doing much better a year later. Many are back in school and returning to their normal selves."
Everyday life in Haiti is challenging, and kids have to help out in many ways.
"Many families don't have running water in their homes, so it's often the kids' job to go get water," Hoashi said. "Kids are really strong here and can carry a 5-gallon bucket of water on their heads."
Food is an important part of life for kids in Haiti, as is play.
"Traditional dishes include rice and beans, fried plantains, roast chicken," said Hoashi. "Kids really like mangos, but also regular kid treats, too, like popsicles and soda."
American kids can help Mercy Corps with its mission by learning about Haiti and other troubled places in the world. Kids can even set up their own fundraising page at mercycorps.org and help raise money for Haiti.
CRISIS IN HAITI: ONE YEAR LATER
More than a million people remain homeless and schools are just now being rebuilt in Haiti a year after the country's capital city was devastated by a major earthquake on January 12, 2010. Scholastic Kid Reporters continue their reporting on the earthquake with stories about how people are continuing to help the embattled country in the Crisis in Haiti: One Year Later Special Report.
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