One Year On - Keeping Hope Alive in Haiti
One year on - keeping hope alive in Haiti
Tuesday, 11 January 2010
Since the catastrophic earthquake that struck Haiti on 12 January 2010 that left more than 1 million homeless, Haitian children and families have had to suffer through continuous aftershocks, severe tropical storms and a deadly cholera outbreak.
The powerful earthquake caused major damage to Haiti where 85 per cent of people already live in poverty. It killed more than 200,000 people and injured an estimated 300,000, many of them children.
ChildFund’s Marketing and Fundraising Coordinator Cassandra Chapman spent six weeks in Haiti working as a Logistics Coordinator with NPFS Haiti in St Damien Paediatric Hospital on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince immediately following the earthquake.
“Unfortunately for many children and families little has changed in 12 months. Continuing challenges like the recent cholera outbreak mean that much aid is still focused on emergency relief and is yet to enter the recovery and rebuilding stage. I hear weekly from several friends in Haiti who are battling exhaustion and despair to help keep people alive.
“The Haitian people are still hopeful though, they have lived through more suffering than any of us can imagine but they keep on living, smiling, fighting for a better life. The world must not forget them.”
New Zealanders who donated to an emergency appeal through ChildFund have helped to establish six child day care centres in some of the most seriously affected areas. These centres have provided nearly 1500 children, especially those with disabilities or injuries, with safe places to play where they could also receive medical attention and therapy as well as informal education.
In addition, more than 500 children in a centre for homeless children and youth received emergency food rations, as well as hygiene kits and blankets in the months following the earthquake.