Editor’s Note: Today marks exactly 6 months since the earthquake in Haiti. Find our 6 month progress report here.
Recently, I made my 3rd trip to Haiti and it was a a very productive trip. The purpose of the trip was to continue the strong efforts we’re all making to be sure all the Red Cross societies are coordinated in our relief efforts. I was joined by the head of the Canadian Red Cross as well as the head of the International Federation of the Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies. We also had the opportunity to visit with Madame Gedeon who is the head of the Haitian Red Cross and I had the privilege of meeting with President Preval, the President of Haiti.
We talked about our relief efforts in terms of how we’re going to move from relief into recovery, ensuring that our efforts would be in sync. We talked to the President about land availability which is a very complicated issue. We are building transitional shelters to help people get out of the tented communities and into more permanent shelters, and we’re working with the government of Haiti to do so.
As we drove from location to location and spoke to different people I noticed the spirit in the street was higher than my other 2 visits. People were engaged in commerce. We passed a big farmer’s market with a tremendous amount of activity – buying and selling produce. The brightest sign I saw was wherever we went you saw children in uniform. They are clearly back in school. It’s such a healthy sign to see these children back in school. There was a spirit of resiliency in the air.