On the 4th day after the earthquake, a first SOS team of 14 co-workers and volunteers from Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic was able to reach the SOS Children's Village in Santo on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. Up to now it was not possible to get into contact with them. The emergency relief programme is lead by Johann Denk from our Regional Office in Costa Rica; the volunteers from the Dominican Republic are psychologists and social workers to start with psychological crisis intervention. At least another 15 psychologists and social workers from Costa Rica are expected to follow within the coming days.
The first steps to be taken by the SOS team are:
1) Assess the situation at the SOS Children's Village in Santo and the neighbouring communities which are heavily affected by the earthquake. The faith of hundreds of families which are supported by our family strengthening programmes is still unknown.
2) Coordinate the arrival of a larger team that is expected to come in the next days.
3) Prepare for the receipt of relief items.
The first shipment of ten tons of food, water, medicine, tents and fuel will eventually leave from the Dominican Republic today. Despite all efforts it was impossible to send them earlier. The Dominican army will protect the cargo from Santo Domingo to the SOS Children's Village in Santo.
It has been confirmed by the Dominican government that a mobile clinic will be installed at the SOS Children's Village in Santo. Equipment and medical staff are planned to arrive on 18 January.
At SOS Children's Villages in the Dominican Republic four teams are working hard to increase the effective coordination of actions. Efforts are focused on the purchase of food, medicine and other items, as well as efforts to continue receiving donations in kind.