World Vision Canada President, Dave Toycen, will mark Haiti's one year anniversary with children in tent camps

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Jan. 12 /CNW/ - To mark the one-year anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Haiti, Dave Toycen, president of World Vision Canada, will spend time with children of Port-au-Prince who lost their homes and are still living in tents and under tarpaulins.

These children will be participating in an art activity in one of World Vision's Child-Friendly spaces - safe, supervised areas in camps for children to play, learn and receive psychosocial support. On the anniversary the children will be drawing pictures that express their "hopes for the future".

Toycen will also visit one of World Vision's Early Childhood Development Spaces, where children ages 3-8 participate in activities that help prepare them for formal schooling.

Training people to work with children in Child-Friendly Spaces and Early Childhood Development Learning Spaces has been an important and urgently needed response in the earthquake's aftermath. In World Vision's programs, teachers are trained in partnership with local organization Tipa Tipa (Creole for "Step by Step"). Tipa Tipa instruction encourages imagination and interaction and creates a learning space and routine that is critical for children.

"All children have the right to an education, but thousands of Haitian children were robbed of this right when the quake destroyed scores of schools. Without a chance to learn, Haitian children and their families have little hope for a brighter future. Staff at our learning centres and child-friendly spaces can attest to how much a child's life improves with a little education. We need to keep working hard with the Government of Haiti and other NGOs to give more children a chance to learn."

- Dave Toycen, President, World Vision Canada

FACTS

  • World Vision has trained 250 people living in camps to teach using the Tipa Tipa method, which is recognized by the Haitian Ministry of Education
  • More than 1,100 children join in activities each week in World Vision's 15 Early Childhood Development locations in Port-au-Prince
  • 80% of schools in Port-au-Prince were destroyed or damaged during the earthquake (Haiti Ministry of Education)

BACKGROUND

World Vision has been working in Haiti for over 30 years focusing on emergency relief and response, child protection, and sustainable economic development.

Visit World Vision Canada's Haiti newsroom (worldvision.ca/newsroom) to download the agency's one-year report, video b-roll and photos.

World Vision is a leading Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. Inspired by our Christian values, we are dedicated to working with the world's most vulnerable people. We serve all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.

SOURCE World Vision Canada

For further information:

Rachel Allred - 905-565-6200 ext. 2420; mobile - 647-328-3769 Rachel_allred@worldvision.ca


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