Haitian children are in the greatest need of help, To Love a Child helps get them some of the basics. Photo Submitted.
Clifton Park It’s been more than two years since a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Carribean nation of Haiti, and today most of her people lack even the most basic necessities. Perhaps most in need are women and children, specifically women who are pregnant and caring for young children.
One local charity has been fighting for these vulnerable groups since 2009. To Love a Child is made up of just under a dozen volunteers and funded entirely on donations. The Clifton Park-based group’s mission is to “provide humanitarian assistance to impoverished children and their families throughout the world to help create a better future and quality of life for all.” They have adopted the village of Rantlamouaie in the Central Plateau of Haiti.
There, said To Love a Child Executive Director Cindy Schmehl, women are giving birth to their babies in very primitive surroundings.
“It’s a high poverty area - they literally have nothing for their children once they’re born.… Their dwellings are very humble,” she said.
Schmehl has been to Haiti to assist in humanitarian efforts. She has also been to Zimbabwe on a similar mission and has made more than 25 trips to those destinations since 2003.
“We meet with the ladies and find out what their needs are … we help them out with Bundles of Love,” she said.
Bundles of Love are drawstring bags sewn by women here and include all of the things a mom would need during pregnancy, like pre-natal vitamins and maternity clothes.
Once a woman has given birth, they are also given Bundles of Joy– everything needed for a baby’s first few months of life, such as diapers and clothing.
Schmehl believes strongly in giving back, and said that here in the U.S. people are very fortunate to “have food every day and a drugstore around the corner.”