Monday, 16 May 2011

Edi and Ruben in Haiti

Edi Souto and Ruben Rivera were in Haiti, representing GAiN Spain, to work on the Reconstruction Project of the Ça-Ira Orphanage for 100 orphaned children. The original orphanage was destroyed in the 2010 earthquake.

On January 12, 2010, Haiti experienced the worst natural disaster in its history. The world was left perplexed as it contemplated the devastation that the earthquake caused, an earthquake that left nearly 300,000 death in its wake. 

Leogane is one of the poorest regions in Haiti and the Ça-Ira Orphanage, which is located there, provided a home, care and educational opportunities to one hundred children that had already been orphaned before the disaster. When the earthquake hit, in less than a minute, the children´s home came plummeting down and buried among its rubble five children and two educators that were not able to be saved.

During the first few months, the children had to live in shelters and very small camping tents, and in many cases they slept on the ground. During the rainy season the rain flooded the tents, creating a very serious situation in regard to hygiene. Later, temporary wooden houses were built.

Ruben Rivera continues the story...

"Just as soon as the earthquake hit, Agape started to work through it´s humanitarian aid arm of GAiN by sending help to the people of Haiti in the form of food, camping tents, water filters, medical supplies. While this was all going on, we made the decision to rebuild the Ça-Ira Children´s Home in a country where many orphan children live in the street. If they don´t have a home that will take them in, they can easily fall prey to abuse and violence. The children´s home can offer them protection, education and hope.

In the first phase we will construct a building that will house 100 children. In the second phase, a school will be built that will also be open for other children who live in the area. A later phase of the project is the creation of a job training center for those who finish their studies and also the creation of a medical center. 

After having cleard away the rubble, the construction project got underway, a project in which we hope to offer dignity to these Haitian children. Haiti is consumed with misery but its people are full of strength, honesty, courage and joy.

After all that we have seen and lived in these days, I am struck by the young men I met, like David, Geralson and René who all live in the orphanage that we are rebuilding in the Ça-Ira neighborhood. These young men are genuine and noble. They are men that we would want at our side if we had to lift our own countries out of the rubble of such a brutal earthquake."

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