Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Dr. Joey is a Haitian-American doctor who works here in Haiti. He has a lot of enthusiasm to help the haitian people and is a special person. When we couldn't find a doctor to help a hydrocephalus child who was sick we contacted him and he helped us out. One of his clinics is also in the Delmas 31/Hatt area and he has helped us out without charge. His heart is for the haitian people. He puts in long hours. Pray for his efforts and the efforts of the Lamp Foundation clinic within Cite Soleil. The following is an article about their efforts here in Haiti.

( - By Bob Braun - The Star-Ledger

Port-au-Prince — The bodies are gone and, with them, the stench. The spring rains, whatever else they inflicted, at least cleansed stretches of pavement discolored where the dead lay.

Many who slept in streets after the earthquake now seek rest in plastic tents, as hot as living in greenhouses. Water is available, and gasoline — if $10 per gallon can be considered available. Phone service, too, although it’s spotty. Electrical power is more off than on and is mostly a gift of generators, not a power grid.

Some hotels and restaurants are open, from Olloffson’s, the old Victorian made famous by Graham Greene, to Mun-Cheez, a beer and pizza joint in Petionville, guarded by a gun-toting man who keeps out those seeking only refuge in the air conditioning.

Most television crews are gone, but their numbers have been replaced by thousands of employees and volunteers from relief organizations, large and small. From the United Nations and the International Red Cross to Homeopaths without Borders.

The most encouraging news involves what has not happened — no outbreak of cholera, no spread of communicable diseases, no spike in malnutrition.

"We have made progress," says Paul Antoine Bienamie, the nation’s interior ministry. "We are now waiting for the help we have been promised to make more.’’

But, six months on, Haiti remains home to a disaster of immeasurable proportions. The way it was before the Jan. 12 earthquake, only worse.

"The problems of Haiti are easy to forget,’’ says Joseph Prosper, a physician from Elizabeth.

"Haiti’s been forgotten before and will be again. It has already started.’’

Prosper, an energetic, smiling man despite the prediction, walks an alley outside a clinic he runs. Low concrete buildings front the garbage-strewn pathway, many without roofs and walls. Inside them, still black water reeks, thick with trash and disease.

"This isn’t from the earthquake,’’ he says. "This is the way it’s been for years.’’

Cite Soleil, the neighborhood served by Prosper’s Lamp for Haiti Clinic — founded by Cedar Grove physician Jim Morgan — escaped the Jan. 12 earthquake with little damage. It didn’t need the quake to be a disaster, it has been one for years.

"We didn’t just come here for the earthquake and we won’t leave when it is forgotten,’’ says Prosper, who was born here.

Cite Soleil is one of the planet’s worst slums, miles and miles of corrugated shacks to rival anything in India or South Africa’s townships. A river runs through it, clogged with trash.

Children play where pigs root on garbage mounds 30 or 40 feet high. The open sewers serve as open-air latrines.

Morgan himself is one of those people who didn’t need an earthquake to be drawn to Haiti.

There are a few.

"I have to say I hate going there,’’ says Morgan, who founded Lamp for Haiti with Philadelphia lawyer Tom Griffin. "I hate going there but I can’t stop myself. It haunts me.’’

What is most discouraging about Haiti is not only that some 250,000 people were killed and that, six months later, too little has changed, but that, even if miraculously tomorrow the tent cities with a million displaced people were transformed into a Haitian Levittown of endless tract homes — even if that happened, Cite Soleil would still exist.

And who in America, except for people like Morgan and Prosper, cared, or even knew, about Cite Soleil?

It is fashionable now to suggest the earthquake will provide an opportunity to rebuild Haiti, not to where it was before Jan. 12, but to a better place — one, presumably, without a Cite Soleil.

Former President Bill Clinton, co-chair of the United Nations-led international relief effort, says things like that.

"I believe it can be done,’’ says Bienamie, the interior minister.

But who will do it? Even before Jan. 12, the Haitian government could not even provide services as basic as preventing traffic jams — they are monumental, even more so considering that, with 60 percent unemployment, few people have any place to go.

Haitian politics are based on individuals, not organized parties. Haitian law often seems more like a matter of preference, not mandate.

"We have laws, but they are not enforced,’’ says Jean-Robert Estime, a former foreign minister and son of a former president. "We have politicians but no leaders.’’

Haiti is a country that needs a strong leader, but the strong leaders it has had in the past—on the both the left and the right — have been ousted by their foes, often with outside connivance.

Instability does not encourage investment.

Left to fend for themselves are the people, an almost unreasonably patient people, the majority of whom survive on a dollar a day. People like Jeanine Mojene, a Cite Soleil resident who brought her son Charlie Schneider into Prosper’s clinic. She was stick thin, and Charlie, 2, displayed the stomach bloat and reddish tinge of malnutrition.

"He stopped walking,’’ says the mother. But she carried his shoes anyway, in the forlorn and na├»ve hope that, maybe, he could walk home from the clinic.

He couldn’t.

1 comment:

D. Addiction said...

Haiti at last copes with disaster and able to live their life again as normal. Hence your article has given the true idea about the Haiti.