FONDAPS was created in 2007 by Patrice Millet, a former businessman of Port-au-Prince who wanted to help disadvantaged young people in his country.
Even before the earthquake struck, Haiti was already the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. Throughout the country 80% of people are living under the poverty line and 54% of these are facing abject poverty.
For children living in highly populated urban slums, life is fraught with danger and hardship. The Port au Prince area was once described by Mother Teresa as the worst few miles of slums anywhere in the world and is rife with criminal gangs, malnourishment, illiteracy and disease.
Children here are not only vulnerable to gang culture, but have very little to eat and no opportunity to learn to read or write. For those who still have families, many of their elders have been drawn into gangs and are unable to give them positive examples of how to live.
At the start FONDAPS began operating in some of the most deprived areas of the capital, including the Bel-Air, Solino and Clercine. Within four months, with the help of local firms Sodipal, Barbancourt and Sogebank , the organization was providing sports activities, support and a vital food programme to more than 600 boys and girls aged from 7 to 17.
When the earthquake struck in 2010 the epicentre was just 16 miles from the centre of Port au Prince. Throughout the city many of the buildings just crumpled because of their poor concrete construction. The loss of life was an estimated at 250,000 and the rebuilding programme in the years since has been painfully slow.
At this time, 2 of the 3 soccer pitches being used by FONDAPS had to be turned into camps. Resources that were being given to FONDAPS now had to be re-directed to emergency aid so the project had to continue with a much smaller number of children. It is now built back up to 400, but the programme still needs another soccer field and consistent financial support.
Last year the foundation were given a bus which has been a fantastic resource for transporting the children to and from training and matches. It has also enabled FONDAPS to take groups of children on trips out of the city, most of which have never been out of the slums before.
FONDAPS needs your support, please find out more and consider donating.