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La Solidarité: Haiti One Year Later

January 12, 2011

One year after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit, Haiti is a country crushed beneath the rubble of a disaster that the world has forgotten. Seeing footage of Craig Kielburger and Mia Farrow’s recent journey through Port au Prince, I would believe you if you told me that it had only been a few weeks since the earthquake hit. You’d think that once the money – the millions and millions of dollars that were donated – started flowing in, we would be able to see change, however small. But the money has not arrived, and Haiti is stuck in a state of emergency. Waiting, praying, fighting, somehow still hoping. They have no food or clean water. As Mia Farrow says in the W5 documentary, “there are tents – lots of tents, for sure – but there’s nothing more than the tents.”

I have seen extreme poverty firsthand, but I have never seen anything like this. Haiti was the poorest country in the western hemisphere before the earthquake hit. We cannot move on from this tragedy the way that the media did – on to the next big thing without a glance back at the brave people left among the wreckage. I can’t help thinking of a passage from the trailer I posted last week:

“It’s not fair that we can sit and watch the evening news from the comfort of our living rooms and pity those who lived where the storm hit or where the ground shook or where the water rose…and simply feel sorry for them, and then change the channel and get on with supper.”

Haiti needs our solidarity, our hope, and our long-term support. Haiti is still in my heart, and I refuse to turn my back on it.

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