Haiti: SAWSO’s Life-Saving Solutions for a Nation in Need
Among the 25,000 attendees at the 19th annual International Aids Conference happening right now in Washington, DC are representatives of The Salvation Army’s World Service Office (SAWSO). This event is just one more way for SAWSO employees to hear the latest scientific developments on the disease and learn more about the global response to HIV.
You may not know about SAWSO – The Salvation Army’s international service arm – or that seeking solutions to HIV/AIDS is something The Salvation Army has a hand in.
For starters, SAWSO has been in the business of serving struggling nations for 35 years, working passionately to improve the health, education, living, economic and spiritual conditions of the world’s poor and oppressed. And “struggling nations” can mean a lot of things, like disasters, extreme poverty, health epidemics, lack of education and opportunity or lack of churches and ministry to name a few.
Sadly, all of the above are plaguing the country of Haiti. The devastating earthquake of 2010 only exacerbated existing homelessness, poverty, malnutrition and diseases.
The good news is that SAWSO was serving in Haiti long before the earthquake. Long-term economic development projects such as Salvation Army schools which provide safety and education, housing services for the nearly 500,000 homeless individuals in Port-au-Prince, and other economic solutions are providing brighter futures for those suffering.
Along with the extreme poverty, SAWSO sees HIV/AIDS as chief among the nation’s problems and seeks to implement long-term solutions for ending the epidemic. Currently, there are more than 200,000 Haitians infected with the disease.
Partnering with local hospitals, SAWSO’s Community Health and AIDS Mitigation Project (CHAMP) provides mental, spiritual and physical comfort to individuals living with HIV/AIDS in Port-au-Prince. Through education on proper hygiene practices, counseling and material support, CHAMP has improved the health and welfare of 800 afflicted individuals.
And since SAWSO seeks to create long-term solutions for struggling nations, the Sexual Prevention of HIV in Haiti (PrevSIDA) program helps to break the cycle of suffering by training area youth leaders to promote awareness and teach positive life skills and prevention-related topics. As of today, PrevSIDA has reached almost 17.000 individuals through the program’s support groups.
These are just two of many ways in which SAWSO is offering solutions to Haitians with HIV/AIDS in Haiti. To learn more about our efforts in there as well as the many ways SAWSO is serving in 90 countries around the world, click here!
If you would like to support SAWSO’s good work, please visit www.donate.salvationarmyusa.org.