"Keep working on a plan. Make no little plans. Make the biggest you can think of, and spend the rest of your life carrying it out." Harry S. Truman

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

One year since the earthquake in Haiti

Almost three months since my last post. I'm almost through with a deadline, and I know I must again carve the time to keep my blog alive, but the main reason I'm writing today is that it is the first anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti. One year, already.

My husband spent again almost three weeks there in December, called again by UNICEF to help curb the terrible cholera outbreak that's claimed some 3500 lives, so far. And my niece, yesterday, posted a bleak, heartbreaking status on her Facebook page, lamenting the fact that nothing has really been done in the past year. It's easy to be engulfed by feelings of despair when it comes to the reality of the situation, there. And she, a child of 13, is smack in the middle of it. She saw one of her school friends die of cholera, in class, a few weeks back. 

There are many articles in the press, today, some lashing out at the UN, others trying to look for the positive and shreds of hope in the middle of all the misery. Yes, it seems that very little was done. Yes, people are still living in horrendous conditions, under tents or tarpaulins. Yes, indeed, where is all the money that came pouring out in the days and weeks that followed the earthquake ? What happened to all the promises made by so many governments across the world ? And I'm not even going to mention the political crisis with the recent disastrous presidential elections. 

And yet, there are also countless stories of uplifting displays of courage. The work of Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) since the earthquake, and during the ongoing cholera crisis - to point out only one - is nothing short of heroic. Everywhere, people are doing little or big things, helping out. 


In the mist of all the press, good and bad, today, I would like to highlight a statement by the UNICEF head executive, Tony Lake, published in the Miami Herald, and an uplifting story printed in the New York Times. The Marché en fer rising again from the rubble and singing its freshly-painted bright colors in the sky of Port-au-Prince could be such a symbol of hope for a new Haiti...


janet brown said...

Breaks my heart and makes me know the world has fallen on dark days. How to make a difference? You have, with this post, Katia. Now it's up to others to keep your momentum going,in whatever corner we happen to be in.
Thank you for writing this.

Katia said...

Thanks, Janet, although can't say I feel I'm doing much at all. My husband has, and even from afar, he continues to try and use whatever influence and knowledge he has of the place to guide, suggest, but the task is so momentous. The only thing we do, my kids and I, is try and accept (not always graciously, I'm afraid) that he can totally disappear from our lives, weeks at a time, so he can be there for his long-suffering countrymen on the other side of the earth.