Thursday, January 14, 2010

Last night I heard an American missionary speak these words; "I am stressed, I am very stressed, I am so tired of this, I want it to stop".

This woman runs an orphanage in Haiti. To that point the building was intact, the babies and children were all safe. The nannies would not return into the building because of aftershocks, so the kids and the staff all stayed outside for the night.

"It is fortunate" she said "that at present we do not have any children on ventilators or needing oxygen". 

I was impressed with her 'half full' perspective; the missionary thought that the outdoor style of life lived by the Haitians may have saved thousands of lives. On the other hand, it is likely, by all accounts, that she had no idea of the extent of the horror that has since unfolded.

There can never be enough aid for the disaster relief that is required in all the situations we have heard about, and there have been a great number in recent times. Reconstruction of lives and homes is another ongoing story-cum-disaster in itself. Yet I hear of great triumphs over adversity by individuals and small groups. It gives me hope.


TG said...

For me the saddest thing about this tragedy is that thousands need to die, before money and help flows in! These people were so poor, they ate 'dirt mud cakes' (and probably still do). And so this will be 'important' as long as media covers it.. but it won't be long.. we know why. And most of the money won't reach those in need. I can bet, that in 1 years time the life of Haitians won't improve, even if millions flow in. That makes me bitter. I just read recently, how much banks have earned by charging for transactions of donations. It's sick.

ZACL said...


Your general point holds water, the wider point in this set up is not so secure. Haiti was politically fragile but beginning to stabilise after a fashion. International investors were considering testing the waters again, in a small way, when this natural disaster occurred.

It is a corrupt society which has kept its people very poor for centuries. In order to have some power,an unbelievably huge number of Haitians own and carry arms. This has its own problems and with it, fears, especially in the current crisis.

All that apart, there is a human disaster - another one - on an imaginable scale that the international emergency services must attend to. Like you, I then wonder what will evolve from this.

ZACL said...

PS The banks I use do not charge for transacting disaster relief donations; I would find some other way to do it, if they did.

I refused to donate to one official channel by phone following a disaster 2 years ago, because the number was a high cost one from which the office administering the donations, obtained a rake off. I made my contribution via other avenues.