Just moments after publishing my previous Post, this letter arrived in my email.
I know some people are opposed to SOS Children’s Villages because SOS has agreed to release children for adoptions in the recent past (and that goes against the goal of family reunification and family preservation), but in this instance, I am in support of SOS Children’s Villages.
This letter addresses the 33 Haitian children who are now in care of SOS Children’s Villages.
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This past weekend, 33 children from Haiti were allegedly kidnapped in an attempt to bring them to the Dominican Republic. A team of missionaries from Idaho were stopped at the border by Haitian officials because they lacked the proper documentation to move these children outside of their home country. The Haitian Social Ministry immediately sought out a safe haven for the children and found one in the SOS Children’s Village in Santo, Haiti. The children will remain in the Santo Village while authorities search for their families. Read the news account below:
Late in the evening on January 29th, the Haitian police arrested 10 U.S. citizens attempting to take 33 children from Haiti to the Dominican Republic in a suspected illicit adoption scheme. The suspects did not have official papers confirming the identities of the children, nor did they have official permission to bring the children out of the country. On January 30th, the Haitian Social Ministry entrusted those 33 children (aged three months to 12 years) to the care of SOS Children’s Villages.
SOS has two Children’s Villages in Haiti, one located in Santo, on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. Both Villages withstood the earthquake and are being used as emergency relief facilities. The 33 children were taken to the Santo Village where they were warmly received. The children — allegedly victims of child trafficking — were visibly in need of special attention and care.
According to SOS staff in Santo, the children were distressed, hungry and thirsty. Upon arrival, each child was registered with SOS and provided with a nutritious meal. The Red Cross, based at the SOS Children’s Village in Santo, promptly examined the youngest children and provided medical care to those who needed it.
The SOS teams are now closely monitoring the children and trying their best to comfort them. Meanwhile, other SOS staff members are attempting to search for relatives.
“But I am not an orphan,” said an eight-year-old girl. She thought that her mother had arranged a vacation trip for her. Some of these children obviously still have parents who may have been persuaded to hand over their children under false pretenses. The allegations will be thoroughly investigated but the Haitian police consider this incident organized child trafficking.
For security reasons, all staff of SOS Children’s Villages are wearing identification stickers, and all children from the SOS Children’s Village in Santo wear wristbands. The entry to the SOS Children’s Village in Santo is strictly controlled.
Through your support, children in Haiti and in 131 other countries have a safe haven at SOS Children’s Villages. Please continue to fund our work for these children who are at such great risk. Make a donation now.
SOS Children’s Villages – USA
P.S.: Please support our work throughout the year by Sponsoring Disaster Orphans.
SOS Children’s Villages – USA
1001 Connecticut Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 1 888-SOS-4KIDS or 202-347-7920