Hope and Healing

Six months ago today, Haiti shook.

July 14, 2010From the Field
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My colleagues have told me that January 12, 2010 was like any other day. The country went about its regular activities…going to work, caring for their children, shopping in the market.

The earthquake shook Haiti for 30 seconds and everything changed.
230,000 died. 300,000 injured.

Fast forward 6 months.

Amidst the meetings, the report writing and the program planning… I have found that, for me, it’s almost too easy to get lost in the day-to-day activities and forget the reason I really came. And I don’t think I’m the only one.

Since arriving in March, I have monitored international media for reports on Haiti. Slowly, the reports have decreased and the media attention has turned its lens to other problems in the world. I’m not laying blame on the media or devaluing other current events, but I do wonder if it’s an indication that the world is forgetting Haiti.

Haiti has not forgotten. 1.5 million people continue to be homeless – a particular concern with hurricane season moving quickly upon us. Typhoid has already been identified in at least one of the many camps where diseases spread quickly in the crowded living conditions. These are just a few, among the many serious problems, we are currently facing.

Today, I took a moment to reflect on the source of my motivation for working in Haiti. Ultimately, my hope is that the quality of life of people living with disabilities is improved through the community project that I manage. I hope that the number of rehabilitation workers continue to climb so that skilled services can be provided to some of the most marginalized members of Haitian society. And I hope that the rights of Haiti’s people with disabilities are recognized, protected and respected.

These are my hopes. But my hopes will not be realized if the world forgets Haiti.

Thank you for your ongoing support and prayers.

In Creole we say: ansanm, nous ka fè plis.
Together we can do more.

Heather Weaver
Community Project Manager and Occupational Therapist