The FMA in Haiti after the earthquake: builders of life and hope

The FMA in Haiti after the earthquake: builders of life and hope

Port-au-Prince (Haiti). During recent days several groups coordinating aid efforts for the people of Haiti that was stricken by the earthquake last January. Sr.Rosanna Giorgi went to Haiti in the name of the Administration Sector and tells us what is being done and what yet remains to be done.

The FMA in Haiti reached La Saline , and Pétion-Ville, now demolished because they were beyond repair.

Through timely interventions Thorland, Cité Militaire et Cité Lintheau, with more than 16,000 persons saw efforts that were concretized in the distribution of tents, for meals and various necessities , even to the point of psychological and spiritual support and have seen the re-opening of the schools and educational, pastoral activities.

Particularly significant is the collaboration in the field of the volunteer groups of Vides USA, Vides International, Doctors of the World and Antilles Volunteers.

Though in a still precarious situation, on April 12 under tents and in unstable environments, children, girls and young people were happy and ready to return to their schools, youth centers to return to their schools and youth centers .

In a situation of extreme poverty it is impressive to note the commitment of the mothers to bring their children to school because they are convinced that the school with all that it offers, is a precious gift.

The collaboration offered by the FMA Institute, by the Sisters of the Antilles Province and by organizations from various parts of the world was reassuring and active. This allowed us to provide offerings of services on the educational, medical, alimentary and sanitary-hygienic level in addition to reserving particular attention for the children who remained orphaned or alone to face this heavy emergency.

A t the encounter with missionary offices and NGOs committed to the reconstruction at the Port-au Prince encounter convoked by the Salesians from 10-13, those present included Sr.Marie Claire Jean, Provincial, Sr. Rose Monique Jolicoeur responsible for projects, Sr. Rosangela Giorgi representing the Institute and Sr. Suzanne Dauwalter, Provincial Economer of the Province of St. Philip Apostle-USA who collaborates with the Mission Office in New Rochelle.

The presentation of the FMA situation in Haiti and the prospective foreseen on the strategic level for a full range of reconstruction and resumption brought particular attention for the FMA from DMOS-COMIDE of Brussels for our educational work at Pétion-Ville and from “Jugend Eine Welt”-Austria on the socio-educational level, and also from the Mission Office in New Rochelle for the most urgent needs and for the resumption of the school, and from “Jugend Dritte Welt” di Bonn (JWD) that offered a pump for the well in Thorland.

Also significant was the analysis of the land at Pétion-Ville, carried out by a team of Canadian experts “Builders without Borders”, who were also present at the meeting This was a a truly an important factor before planning for reconstruction.

Given the risky situations of the emergency, before implementing necessary interventions for the resumption of activities, it is necessary that there be the construction of the surrounding walls that crumbled in various places of the province, the provision of scholastic material, food for the children, medical care, psycho-social assistance, salaries for teachers and the huge repairs for the damaged works.

Observing the post-earthquake situation in the global context, what is preoccupying is the inertia and lack of political and organizational presence on the part of the government, which allows space for individuals and various organizations haphazardly, without a plan for reconstruction announced to the people who what to rise and rebuild, collaborating , if they find a place for proposal, support and help on various levels.

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