Port-au-Prince – A City Destined to Rebuild

by Anne Edgerton
ChildFund Disaster Management Team Leader

Anne is in Haiti this week, working with CBM, ChildFund’s partner on the ground.

En route to Haiti

It’s a warm welcome one receives in Haiti, despite all they’ve been through. I arrived this morning, and have been at work ever since — 12 hours later.

The site of so many destroyed buildings pales in comparison to meeting Haitians individually, hearing their stories and witnessing their struggles. Haitians are used to having it tough. The piles of broken rock seem to signify that what once stood can be built again.

A city of rock, Port-au-Prince has the will to endure.

ChildFund’s partner CBM has been in Haiti for 30 years, working with clinics and communities, therapists and counselors. I was lucky enough to join them today. But larger plans for visiting communities to let people know about CBM’s center were put aside for a more urgent call.

I met a woman today who had both legs broken below the knee during the earthquake. Despite two visits to the hospital and casts on both legs, she was not healing. She was quietly lying on a door, which she has been since having her legs plastered incorrectly.

She rocked in pain as six men followed CBM staff instructions to carry her to a local clinic for X-rays of her legs. The X-rays showed no healing, and CBM has arranged for the woman to go to a different hospital for new casts.

She smiled and thanked everyone.

It’s not about the rocks. It’s about the people.

To support ChildFund’s partnership with CBM in Haiti, click here. Contributions made no later than Feb. 28, 2010, can be deducted from 2009 tax returns.

One response to “Port-au-Prince – A City Destined to Rebuild

  1. It is unfortunate that it takes a dramatic event such as an earthquake or a tsunami to focus the world’s attention. Millions of people die needlessly from extreme poverty every year, and yet there is no concentrated effort to save them. A large part of the Haitian population was living in poverty before the earthquake hit. When disaster struck, the death toll was driven up because of the poverty that already existed. But in the weeks before the tragedy there was no coordinated effort to save the lives of Haitians. We gave no thought to the orphans. There was no star studded telethon to solicit donations to provide food, water and medical care to the region. Haiti was a place many people could not locate on a map. But the Haitians were already suffering. They lived in squalor and filth. They lived with hunger and disease. They tried to survive on less than two dollars a day. They lived in makeshift shelters. They drank unsafe water. They were ravaged by HIV/AIDS. And they were ignored……After the dust settles on the earthquake, we can’t forget Haiti. They will need our help for years to come. We have to make the long term financial commitment to help them rebuild their country and their lives.