Haiti - A People Not Forgotten
On the 12th of January, 2010 a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit near the capitol of Haiti. 12 days and 52 aftershocks later the world was finally realizing the real scope of this human tragedy. We now know this was the worst earth quake in the Western Hemisphere in over two centuries with an estimated cost of between 7.2 and 13.2 billion dollars. But the real cost is in human suffering. While the total may never be known, the death toll is certainly already confirmed to be beyond 250,000. The United Nations estimates over 100,000 homes were destroyed and another 208,000 damaged.
In spite of the tremendous outpouring of aid and volunteers, the area around Port-au-Prince is still in disarray. As of September 2010, over 90% of the rubble remains. Nearly 1.5 million people are still living in tent cities, most without electricity, running water, or proper sewage disposal. New York Times reporter Deborah Soutey relays a letter written by Marie Jean Jean, a Haitian who wrote, “I feel discouraged, I don’t sleep comfortably, I gave birth 6 months ago, the baby died, I have six other children, they don’t have a father, I don’t have work, my tarp is torn, the rain panics me, my house was crushed, I don’t have money to feed my family, I would really love it if you would help me.” Another Haitian, Ms. Saint Hilaire lost her husband and livelihood in the quake and now lives in a tent camp without food, a health clinic, schools, or a marketplace. According to Soutey she wrote, “Please-do something! We don’t want to die of hunger and also we want to send our children to school. I give glory to God that I am still alive-but I would like to stay that way!”
Harvesting Wellness is partnering with Samaritans Purse and the Red Cross to provide much needed continuing aid to these desperate but determined people. There is so much that still must be done. The sheer magnitude of the numbers left injured, widowed, orphaned, homeless, and jobless can seem overwhelming. One refugee described the conditions this way: “They told us when we were coming here, that we would live well. But what we saw when we got here and the way we lived here, it’s the contrary. The place where we are here when it’s hot, the sun makes the tents hot, very hot. And also the wind comes and blows the tents and wrecks them. In the situation we’re living in here in the tents, we can’t continue like that anymore. We would ask them as soon as possible to give us the real houses that they said they were going to give us so that our situation could improve.”
But there is also hope. Harvesting Wellness is pleased to partner with the two organizations most trusted around the world to distribute funds and supplies where needed. Samaritans Purse has long-standing medical ties that existed in Haiti long before the quake and the experience and personnel to channel much needed medical supplies and personnel where they are most needed. Please join with us so we can let the people of Haiti know they are not forgotten.