THURSDAY, JANUARY 12: Two years ago in 2010, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake shook Haiti, followed by dozens of aftershocks. More than 300,000 people died. Another 300,000 were injured. More than 1 million people were left homeless. Wikipedia has an extensive overview of the quake’s impact.
Making matters worse, all hospitals and major medical facilities around the nation’s capital were devastated. Roads were blocked. Transportation systems and communication were knocked out. Relief efforts were hampered by the aftershocks and Haiti’s already existing poverty.
MARK 2-YEAR ANNIVERSARY BY GETTING TO KNOW KENT ANNAN
In March 2011, we introduced the innovative grassroots activist Kent Annan to ReadTheSpirit readers. First, we published an in-depth interview with Kent about his work and his inspiring book about working to rebuild Haiti, called “After Shock.” Then, in May 2011, Kent sent us a special prayer written by Haiti Partners—colleagues he works with to rebuild healthy communities in Haiti.
Want to mark the 2-year anniversary in your group or congregation? Copy the special Haiti Partners prayer that Kent sent us (along with permission to freely distribute this prayer to encourage greater awareness about Haiti). Or, go back and re-read our interview with Kent and then share his inspiring thoughts with others. You can visit Kent’s own website to see his own blog posts. You also can jump right to the Haiti Partners website.
Still wondering what to tell friends at this 2-year anniversary? The Haiti Partners group sums up the message pretty well: “This month marks two years since the earthquake. The message being broadcasted in the media right now is: There’s little change and Haitians continue to suffer in spite of so much aid. There is truth to that—but it’s not the whole truth because people like you, who are contributing to Haiti Partners, need to know that your dollars have made and are making a real, tangible, hopeful difference every day!” Bottom line: Activists like Kent and groups like Haiti Partners are making headway. Let’s all take this anniversary as a milestone to roll up our sleeves and keep helping them.
SIGNS OF HOPE & ACTIVISM IN HAITI NEWS NATIONWIDE
WASHINGTON POST: Canadian Aid to Help Move Huge Quake Camp The Post story reports, in part: “Canada’s government is providing $19.9 million over two years to finance the resettlement of the camp dwellers. Canadian Minister of International Cooperation Beverley Oda said the project will also help train 50 Haitian entrepreneurs and create 2,000 jobs for removing debris and rebuilding and repairing homes.”
VOICE OF AMERICA: Health Officials Seek Support to Stamp Out Cholera Among the most deadly and long-lasting after-effects of the quake is an epidemic of cholera. Voice of America reports that the two year anniversary brings a fresh global appeal to tackle this deadly challenge. The report quotes experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, from UNICEF and from the Pan American Health Organization.
MIAMI HERALD: Thousands of Haitians March For years, the Herald has provided some of the best U.S.-based reporting on the Caribbean. This Herald story reports both on a large annniversary march in Haiti and on international appeals for renewed commitments of aid. In part, it reports: “On the second anniversary Thursday of the earthquake that killed more than 300,000 people, frustrations are mounting but Haitian leaders and foreign donors are trying to lay the foundation for change and move the conversation away from aid to development and job opportunities for millions of Haitians who currently rely on informal jobs, remittances and nongovernmental organizations to survive.”
Originally published at readthespirit.com, an online magazine covering religion and cultural diversity.