Saturday, 21 February 2015

Impacts on Early Emotional Development

For this week’s Blog Assignment I researched the efforts that are occurring in Haiti through UNICEF. As I have already mentioned throughout this course, a few years ago shortly after the earthquake in Haiti, I had a young Haitian girl come into my classroom as a transnational student. It amazed me how resilient she was in overcoming all of the horrors, loss and pain she faced.
I chose Haiti, because due to the 2010 earthquake many children were left orphaned, homeless, and abandoned in the destruction. “On Jan. 12, 2010, a devastating earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 struck Haiti, killing more than 160,000 and displacing close to 1.5 million people” (Laurent, 2015).

Statistics about poverty in Haiti:

1) As a result of the earthquake in Haiti in 2010 approximately 230,000 people were killed in a matter of moments and 2 million others were displaced.

2) Over 70,000 homes, businesses and public buildings were destroyed and nearly 5000 of these include schools.

3) 500,000 children in Haiti are living in camps and many others living in slums. These children lack the protection of social and police services, and are under continued threat of exploitation and abuse.

Currently, the country is not only feeling the aftermath from the destruction of the earthquake, they are also facing an outbreak of cholera because of displacement issues, problems with sanitation and clean water. “Until every household has access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities, cholera and other water-borne diseases will remain a potential threat to vulnerable families throughout the country,” said Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe. “We count on the support of the UN and that of international partners to make this a reality” (Unicef, 2014).
These experiences can have a huge effect on a child’s emotional wellbeing and development because not only can this affect their immediate health but constant stress, fear and uncertainty can definitely impede a child’s healthy development and emotional well-being.

All children are entitled to the basic necessities (food, clean water, shelter, education) that many of us take for granted. Unfortunately, this is not the reality that many children in Haiti face. This experience, of researching children in other countries made me reflect personally on all I have and take for granted. Even within my role as an educator, I am shocked at what some of my students face and the instability within their lives. It is my job as an educator to provide consistency and support and to be knowledgeable about the supports available in order to provide resources to the children I care for.


Laurent, O. (2015). Haiti Earthquake: Five Years After. Retrieved from:

Unicef (July 16, 2014). Retrieved from:


Lauren Gors said...

Hi Rhiannon,
I think that you did a wonderful job with your coverage of the children of Haiti. Looking through UNICEF's page and completing this assignment also made me realize that I do take so many things for granted. It breaks my heart that there are children in this world, especially in this day and age, that go without a roof over their head, clothes on their back, and food or water in their stomachs. No child should have to go through that. Also, on top of this, many children are having to deal with the psychological effects of witnessing and living through traumatic experiences at young ages. Like the young girl that you encountered, many children are resilient and it amazes me too. I often try to think of how I would be if I had to go through what they do and I can't imagine being as strong. I am very thankful for UNICEF and everything they do for our children.

Tricia Jackson said...

Thank you for your post. I feel as though after a major catastrophe, such as the earthquake in Haiti, people rush to immediate aide. Then after a short while it is forgotten even though there are still people suffering from the effects. Your post was a good reminder of the devastation that is still having a negative impact on the Haitian people. Even though children are very naturally resilient it is important for us to have an understanding of where they are coming from so that we do not make assumptions about their identity, culture, experience, and development.

Royce said...


I too chose Haitian because I feel that this so important to me because where I work at majority the population is Haitian students, I enjoyed reading your blog because it reminding people that we have not forgotten about them. Reading articles about the earthquakes in UNICEF did amazing job getting the information out to us I pray and thank god the people in Haitian would get everything that was promise to them.
Thanks for sharing an outstanding post!

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