Haiti - One Year On Featured

04 March 2011
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Haiti - One Year On http://www.actforpeace.org.au/

This month marks one year since a massive earthquake struck Haiti causing unprecedented destruction with more than 230,000 people killed, 300,000 injured and one million homeless.

 Act For Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia, provided through their partners immediate assistance to some of the most vulnerable among the earthquake affected people in Port-au-Prince (including Bel Air and Cite Soleil), Gressier and in Jacmel and Bainet in the south. Act for Peace provided 150,000 people with water, sanitation, shelter and regular food supplies/meals. Additional specific assistance in the form of cash, family kits, hygiene sets, medical assistance and supplies to health clinics, immediate and ongoing support to 2,500 people living with a disability.

Now, one year on, the rebuilding of lives continues. An outbreak of cholera has caused the death of more than 3,400 people since October last year. ACT Alliance members are responding with cholera-prevention education and training and the provision of clean water and support to clinics.

Below are stories from Act for Peace's partners on the ground and other members of the ACT Alliance.

Anouk Noel, 30, is one of 600 people living with disabilities in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, who have received a six-month, US$75 per month grant from Act for Peace through our partners Church World Service (CWS). Working with Service Chretien d´Haiti and the Cuban Council of Churches, CWS has provided a variety of emergency services to people living with disabilities since the devastating January 2010 quake ravaged the capital city and nearby areas. Noel's family has used the CWS grant to purchase cosmetic items that family members have then resold on the market, earning a profit to support the family. The home Noel shares with her family has also been repaired as part of the CWS program, allowing Noel to return to her home in November following nine months in one of Port-au-Prince's crowded tent cities. "I had given up hope that we'd be able to come back," she says. Noel has also joined other disabled persons during regular emotional recovery events, often singing solo during the gatherings. Noel is an achondroplastic dwarf, and has lost the use of her legs.

A boy carries a basin above his head as he walks through a portion of the Corail resettlement camp north of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Residents of the camp, survivors of the devastating January 2010 earthquake, were relocated to the remote location from overcrowded tent cities for the homeless in the nation's capital. Yet shortly after its establishment, thousands of homeless families from around the capital region moved to the area and began constructing their simple homes around the edges of the official camp, creating a complex set of questions for camp managers. Seen under construction here are transitional homes--houses designed to get quake survivors into homes quickly, yet which residents will be expected to modify and improve in coming years. The ACT Alliance members have built schools in the camp and is providing school furniture, teacher training, and educational materials for students.

haitigirlA survivor of Haiti's devastating earthquake, Rosena Cheriben has moved into a new house in Leogane, south of the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. The houses here were built with assistance from members of the ACT Alliance. The houses are built on the foundations of the residents' former homes, and are transitional-designed to be improved by residents as they are able. The houses have yet to receive their first coat of paint. ACT Alliance members have also worked with community members on water and sanitation issues in response to the cholera outbreak, and is providing psycho-social support for residents as they rebuild their lives.





You can learn more about Act for Peace and their activities here.

Last modified on Wednesday, 09 March 2011 14:42
Amy Goodhew

Amy Goodhew

I am editor of The Transit Lounge, the youth e-zine for the Uniting Church in Australia, I produce publications, write for other church publications, manage media, graphic design, manage our website and take care of other communication business as needed.

Website: www.thetransitlounge.com.au

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