The earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010, had an epicenter much closer to Port au Prince than to St. Paul’s campus of the Colorado Haiti Project. Because of that and because the buildings on the campus were constructed according to much better standards than many of the buildings in Port au Prince, there was very little damage to structures on the campus, and the area as a whole did not suffer the devastation to property and lives that were pictured in scenes in Port au Prince.
This does not mean, however, that the people were not traumatized. The earth did shake. Many Haitians in our rural area suffered devastating losses of friends and family, especially because many have family members that move back and forth between the rural area and Port au Prince for higher education and work. So it is not surprising that many of our friends were temporarily afraid to go inside any building larger than their pole and palm frond huts and asked for help in dealing with the psychological effects of their country’s trauma.
When a mental health team formed by the CHP, collaborating with Haitian workers with Mercy Corps, arrived at the St. Paul’s campus in June to help out, one of the things that they did was to ask the school children to draw pictures to represent the strongest sense of stability and security in their lives. Not surprisingly, amid the chaos of their lives at that point, most of the children drew a picture of themselves at school.
Will you help us in continuing to support this important resource for human development and stability for the people of this rural Haitian community?