Haiti Recovery: One Year Later

Jan. 12, 2011 marked the one year anniversary of the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti. Since then, American organizations have been working tirelessly with the Haitian people to provide basic services like clean water, food, and basic shelter from the weather.

Groups like the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity,  and the International Medical Corps have been out on the front lines, as well as the media headlines, helpeing hundreds of thousands of Haitian survivors.

The American Red Cross has issued a one-year report on the relief and recovery efforts in Haiti, which summarizes the Red Cross response in Haiti and plans for the years ahead to support Haiti’s recovery. The  Red Cross currently has 24 international staff and more than 320 Haitian staff and paid workers at its headquarters in Port-au-Prince.

Steve McAndrew is the Head of Operations for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. McAndrew has lived in Haiti for the past 12 months. “The people are so resilient. When I see them, I have hope for the future,” said McAndrew.

It is important to think about Haiti now, in light of the one year anniversary.  Things there are still bad.  There is no real Government to speak of, there is very little to no permanent housing, and there are constant threats of cholera breakout and unrest.  However, the people are still alive, and working to make things better.
In the United States, things are not good.  The recent State of the Nonprofit Sector reports reveal a sector of public services in decline.  And yet a country like Haiti has been in decline for a lot longer, with no respite in sight.  That is when we Americans realize how good things still are.  We are still blessed to live in a country that is stable and provides services that enable our well-being.
It is always good to reflect upon the fortunes that we are afforded, while also considering those that don’t have our fortunes.  And I don’t have the answers for the best way to improve their situation.  I just think we always need a reminder of what compassion means, what resiliency means, and what life means.

The Haiti recovery is slow, but still going


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