It’s been one year since my family survived the devastating 7.0 earthquake in Haiti. Since I shared so much of their story with you last year, I wanted to send you a quick update on how they’re doing and what things are like on the ground.
Recently, I took a trip to Port-au-Prince to visit my family. I’m happy to report they’re healthy and well. But a lot of what I saw on the ground surprised me. It looked to me as if the earthquake had just hit. There were piles and piles of concrete debris. Blue and white tents were scattered everywhere. These tents were meant to be temporary. Right now, they’re what a lot of Haitians call home.
But even amongst all this ruin, the people of Haiti still have a whole lot of hope. Take my aunt, for example. She’s been a teacher in Haiti for 20 years. During my trip, she showed me the remains of her school. I saw rubble and mangled desks. She saw — and quickly pointed out — a few planks standing upright in front of me. “Don’t worry,” she said, “I’ve started to rebuild.”
The road to recovery has been a bumpy one, and Haiti has faced some big set-backs — most recently the devastating cholera outbreak, and a precarious political situation with the Haitian government. But moved by the outpouring of concern and long-term help because of members like you, my aunt — along with millions of other Haitians — are finding ways to rebuild their lives, one plank, one nail, one classroom at a time.
Haiti is slowly rebuilding. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Schools across the country are reopening, hospitals are staffing up, and communities are fighting to come back, stronger than ever before. It hasn’t been easy — and they’ve still got a long way to go — but this progress would not have been possible without the determination of the Haitian people and the hard work and compassion of people like you, ONE members who worked together to cancel Haiti’s crippling debt last year.
This is just one story — the story of my family in Haiti. But there are projects and organizations pitching in to help for the long-term all across the country. Take a look at the slide show of photos from my own journey, and learn more about the work happening each and every day in Haiti in our blog series.
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