January 28, 2010

Story of a Haitian mother

Posted in Children, Earthquakes, Food, Haiti, News, Women tagged at 8:22 am by Liliana

Earthquake in Haiti

Earthquake in Haiti

Every day, I read stories about Haiti. I am afraid that if I turn away, the world will turn away, and the people there will be left on their own. And that to me, seems the most cruel fate of all.

I read a story about a mother who didn’t give up on finding her son for close to ten days. She was a poor street vendor and her son was 21 years old and worked as a tailor. After the earthquake, the mother went looking for her son at the building where he worked. The whole structure had collapsed and no one was found alive. Every day the mother went looking around a different area of the building and calling her son’s name. Days passed and relief workers from different countries got used to seeing this woman wonder around the collapsed building, calling and calling.

On the tenth day, somewhere deep in the bowels of collapsed cement, the boy heard his mother’s voice and he called back. She heard him. Joyously shouting, digging with her hands, she called the relief workers to come and help. But they had seen her there, day after day, and thought that she was hearing voices. They left. A team from Israel happened to be coming by, and the mother stopped them, grabbed a man by his hand and made him come with her. She shouted and the boy shouted back. The Israeli called his team and they started digging furiously. After a while they got to the boy. He was so small, so light and dehydrated, he looked like a child. The Israeli lifted the boy into his arms and carried him to his mother.

No one in the world was happier than that woman, and no one felt more fortunate than she. She had lost everything she had, which was not much to begin with; she had lost her city, her house and all her possessions. But her child was alive.


January 18, 2010

Helping Haiti

Posted in Earthquakes, Haiti, News, Organization tagged , , at 8:14 am by Liliana

Haiti earthquake victims

In the face of such great human tragedy as the one in Haiti, it is hard to know what to do. Do I look at the pictures; follow the nonstop news stories; pay attention to every detail that is reported? Do I look squarely in the face of the crying children and bear witness to what is happening?

Or do I avert my gaze out of respect and humility and give these people the privacy to grieve in peace? How do I go on with my everyday worries when the magnitude of suffering is impossible to ignore?

Today is Martin Luther King Day, a day to contemplate the fairness of our endeavors, our place in society, and our ability to help others. I stop on this day and wonder about the difference that I am making. I live a fairly ordinary, middle class life.  I have a family, I work, and I live in a small university town.  I am not a powerful or a wealthy person.

But I still believe that I can make a difference. Even if I provide one meal for one person in Haiti, I have done more than if I had just given up and not even tried. It gives me hope that President Obama has joined forces with our two former presidents, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, in setting up a fund and raising money for the cause.  Here is the link to their site: http://www.clintonbushhaitifund.org

If you can help, please do. Every dollar makes a difference.