The January 2010 earthquake in Haiti brought an influx of children and youth to Boston, the United State’s third largest Haitian community. Many were unaccompanied by parents, and sent here to live with distant relatives or acquaintances. Often families receiving them were not equipped or unwilling to provide long-term support and supervision. Some of the youth lost parents and close relatives. Others were uprooted and displaced. Few have walked away without suffering some kind of post-traumatic stress disorder.
In some disasters, the younger the survivor, the greater the trauma. Yet in some ways adolescents faced the heaviest burdens, as fewer people are willing to take care of them over the priority of a younger child. Many have had to fend for themselves in a foreign land. And it is where we come in. As an agency, we have helped to stabilize these traumatized youth, connecting them with social services, providing counseling and other resources and helping them adjust to life, culture and schooling in the U.S. But with this influx has been greater pressure on programs serving this population. We cannot do it alone. Support for us as a grassroots nonprofit is critical. It allows us to serve this important demographic. Please help.
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Youth & Family Enrichment Services, Inc is a 501©(3) not-for-profit organization, and all gifts are tax deductible.