Seattle organization supporting Haitian children following earthquake

We now know more than half a million children are affected by the devastating earthquake in Haiti-- UNICEF estimates 1.2 million people, including 540,000 children, have been affected. 

While the epicenter of the 7.2 earthquake was in the southwestern part of the country, people in other parts of Haiti felt the aftershocks. 

Jessie Dye of Positive Action for Haiti (PAH) said it brought back traumatic memories for children who lost everything back in 2010.

"Every tremor reminds these kids of that experience," said Dye. "They lost their families many of them in the earthquake of 2010, others saw their parents drown. They saw their homes wash away in past hurricanes."

Dye is part of the leadership team for the Seattle-based organization that started ten years ago to support more than a dozen children who became homeless after the 2010 earthquake.

RELATED: Haiti earthquake: Death toll rises to over 2,000, thousands injured seek medical aid

The group’s mission is to raise children in a safe and healthy environment while training them in sustainability.

PAH is currently raising funds to build a hurricane and earthquake-resistant children’s home and environmental education center in Gonaives.

"The home we’re hoping to build can house 34 children, and there will certainly be more children needing more care after this tragedy," said Dye. "We can make sure these children, our children, are cared for and have good food to eat and a healthy family, and feel safe so they can launch into adulthood in a good way."

Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency reported more than 2,000 people have died and more than 12-thousand are injured. About 100,000 homes were destroyed and 30-thousand people are now homeless.

"This tragedy reminds us how important it is for people in Haiti, and these children in particular, to have a safe place and as I talked with Djemson in Haiti, I could hear the rain falling in the background and my terrible fear is that this is the beginning of the hurricane season, which is predicted to be a very difficult one in the Caribbean," said Dye.

To learn more and be part of PAH’s efforts to build a hurricane and earthquake-resistant center click here.

World Vision is providing emergency response to support families in Haiti during this crisis.

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