Haiti: Six Months After the Earthquake

July 12, 2010 at 2:30 pm , by

Today marks the six-month anniversary of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti. A good friend of mine and fellow journalist, Eleanor A. Miller, is spending the summer reporting for the Haitian Times in Port-au-Prince. I asked Eleanor via email about her experience, and what she’s observed on the ground in Haiti.

Kids at The Sunday Project. Photo by Eleanor A. Miller

Shelter is the biggest issue. “There are tent cities everywhere. There is no open public space anymore–every park, every open lot, everywhere has tents and shacks and people living on it,” Eleanor said. “If any sort of tropical storm blows through, causing heavy rains, winds or mudslides, it will be another disaster all over again. Tents and tarps are already falling apart because they simply aren’t meant to be used continuously, and the strong heat and rains of the Caribbean have taken their toll.”

According to Eleanor, the mood among Haitians is frustration. Many look to the United States for much needed help. So what can average Americans do?

“Consider donating to Haitian-run organizations on the ground that know the culture, work intimately with locals and are sustainable,” Eleanor said.

Eleanor volunteers with The Sunday Project,  run by local radio personality Carel Pedre. Every Sunday, the group heads to Cité Soleil, the poorest slum in Port-au-Prince, and distributes 300 boxed meals to seriously malnourished kids. You can donate to The Sunday Project or find other organizations to give to. But it doesn’t cost anything to remain interested in the Haitian recovery and ask our government and aid organizations to do the same.

Cite Soleil

Cite Soleil, a slum in Port-au-Prince. Photo by Eleanor A. Miller

3 Responses to “Haiti: Six Months After the Earthquake”

  1. is this a post about haiti or a PR piece for your friend? what makes her an expert? why not talk to the editor of the haitian times or someone who’s been there for a long time?

  2. Thanks for the reminder about Haiti. Sometimes we forget that the need is longterm and not just for the immediate aftermath of the disaster. It’s also nice to see some smiling kids, even in that devastated country.

    My favorite organization for helping the poor around the world http://www.brighthope.org/ I am not affiliated with them in any way, other than as a donor, but I like what they are doing!

  3. Totally agree Patty. This came up on my google reader and why is Eleanor so important? She’s not a doctor, nurse, or anyone providing aide. One-source reporting and the source being a friend? Journalism this isn’t.

    And Eleanor comes off holier than thou on her twitter. Not someone I’d listen to.