Wednesday, January 12, 2011
A Year Later: Haiti still needs us...
People across the world rung in the New Year by restoring resolutions and renewed hopes of prosperity. However, there are countless individuals who arise each morning praying for the same as they hope and pray that their hardship ends. The people of Haiti are such individuals who have seen the wrath of natural disasters and now a year after their sudden calamity the aftershocks of dismay continue to linger.
Helping Hand for Relief and Development was one of the few relief organizations that responded immediately to the need for emergency relief. Launching a $1.5 million appeal to its worldwide donors HHRD representatives came together to map out the relief work needed to be done for such a horrendous scale of devastation.
HHRD Heard the Call, And Answered It: HHRD's emergency relief operations focus on 3 main levels of provision:
1. Medical Assistance
3. Food and Clothing
Mobile and Rotational Clinics: HHRD Doctors worked round the clock to tend to the wounded. Six rotational clinics were being operated in the most remote areas with little or no medical help; treating more than 2,000 people per week and vaccinations were provided to over 300 men, women and children.
Over $160,000 worth of medication was administered to over 11,000 patients. Due to urgent need, a full-time local Haitian Doctor was hired, accompanied by a female doctor who especially tended to women's health issues.
Shelter Village: HHRD set out to rebuild Haiti by constructing 102 of permanent shelters. These shelters were constructed into a village where they also built a school and a place of worship. With over 200 children playing admits the rubble parents welcomed this move to provide their children with an education which also helped to keep them occupied and safe.
Food and Clothing: In Kind donation centers were setup across the United States in California, Michigan, New Jersey, Florida, Texas, Maryland, Georgia, and Virginia. Donors dropped of boxes of basic necessities and containers were loaded to be shipped immediately to Haiti.
Youth for Haiti Program: This program invited college students from all over the country to participate in volunteer relief work in Haiti during their respective spring break. After a rigorous selection process nearly 30 college students were chosen to spend four week long rotations in batches of 10 to volunteer in the areas of medical assistance and building shelter villages alongside supervised professionals.
A New Year Marks New Concerns: Though a year has passed the country of Haiti and its people are still in dire need of assistance to get through their daily struggles. Now with the outbreak of cholera and the heightened need for medical assistance HHRD requests its donors to keep these people in their thoughts and prayers.
“I have to admit that I am absolutely amazed and inspired by the people of Haiti. Despite their poor living conditions, they were so full of life and optimism. I'm amazed by their spirit, their perseverance, and their rare ability to find happiness in even the smallest of things. They were the most hospitable people I have ever come across. I personally feel a bit guilty because I feel that I benefited more from them than they have from me,” shares Raihan Dakhil a volunteer in the Youth for Haiti program.
Skills Development Center: As the world marks the one year anniversary of Haiti's earthquake HHRD hopes that its efforts in the region allows for victims to stand on their own feet and become self sufficient. Though the work there is far from over, it is imperative that each and every individual be taught the proper skills for not only survival but also success. HHRD has established a skill development center that allows Haitians to once again become independent and flourish as not only a people but a nation.
The work there is far from over, the country requires long term developmental projects such as sanitary water, education institutions, properly utilizing natural resources and much more. Hundreds of children are now orphans, while hundreds of women are now widows but within each there lies a vow to never forget how things were and to always remember that at least now life is better than before. As human beings and more importantly as Muslims we cannot turn a blind eye to the evil in this world and the tragedy that millions of people are facing. Let us be those who lend a helping hand and dust off the fallen for today’s calamity can be tomorrow’s reality for many of us.
HHRD humbly requests its donors to continue their ongoing support for the people of Haiti and those unfortunate across the world. For further information on HHRD's work in Haiti please visit www.muslimsforhaiti.org or www.hhrd.org.