Have we forgotten? It was 4:53 p. m. on Tuesday, January 12, 2010. The 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the island of Haiti, causing havoc throughout the nation. CNN, FOX, and other news organizations featured shows, news articles, and news packages around the Haitian tragedy. Donors sent money to Operation Blessing and the American Red Cross. Volunteers united for the cause and sent relief efforts, food, supplies, and able hands to Haiti. Almost four months later, Haiti news has barely made the headlines. Is Haiti old news?
In an attempt to bring Haiti to the forefront of public news, I spoke with 20-year-old Katie Messina, a current student of Gordon College in Wenham, Mass. Along with her fellow classmates, Messina went to Ouanaminthe, Haiti, approximately a nine hour drive from Port au Prince.
Ouanaminthe, though not directly affected by the January disaster, provided relief for orphans from Port au Prince, the main city damaged by the earthquake. Messina noted that most of the 50 orphans lost both parents in the earthquake or have a mother or father who decided they could not raise a child anymore. They are literally left with nothing in Port au Prince, added Messina.
According to Fox News fast facts, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Aware of this fact, Messina noted that the public must continue to be notified of efforts to rebuild the nation. With the addition of natural disasters in Chile and other areas, Messina claimed that Haiti has been pushed off to the side and people aren’t paying attention anymore.
Messina noted that it is important for people to pray and send aid to Haiti. Various groups have organized trips to serve in Haiti, but they’re getting in the way, they just don’t know what else to do. In order to best use the time, money, and service of aid efforts, Messina encourages volunteers to contact a local organization and work with people who are already in the progress of sending relief to Haiti.
In order to assist with the awareness of relief related activity, I have established heartforhaitiblog. blogspot.com. The purpose of the site is to keep residents of Hampton Roads, Va.informed of the events, fundraisers, and other activities related to sending aid to Haiti. By using Interactive media such as a facebook page, Twitter account, and the blog itself, I hope to provide the public with up-to-date information so citizens may collaborate with bigger groups or organizations in order to assist in sending help to Haiti.
As a season of rain creeps towards Haiti, the country is in the midst of relocating thousands of Haitians to dry areas in preparation of the weather to come. According to BBC News, those being transferred to new homes are considered at highest risk from mudslides and floods. Especially with the oncoming rains, Haiti is still in danger and still needs support.
While Haiti is no longer making the front page of the newspaper, many groups and organizations have garnered volunteers and are continuing to send relief to the disaster struck country. Haiti still needs help; do not let the country slip from your mind. Pray and be active in restoring the nation.