HAITI/ Hurricane Sandy brought death and destruction here too, but no one pays attention to us
We saw the Hurricane Sandy descending on the East Coast and venting its violence on New York, leaving behind death and destruction. However, in the general silence of most of the global media, the terrible storm had already passed through one of the most forgotten countries of the earth: Haiti, where an estimated 400,000 people are still coming to terms with the consequences of the catastrophic earthquake that caused over 220,000 casualties almost three years ago. “Hurricane Sandy was just the latest in an unfortunately long series of disasters in Haiti, a series that seems infinite”, Fiammetta Cappellini, a volunteer with AVSI (an international non-profit) in Haiti, tells us. “The torrential rains of the last week have hit in the south of the country, the plain of Les Cayes, one of the few ‘granaries’ of Haiti, in full, bringing floods and landslides, death and destruction. The storm then moved slowly to the north and the wake of rain has affected the central area of ??the country”. Even in a day like the one dedicated to the celebration of All Saints, Fiammetta explains, “here, in a life so dramatically linked to reality like ours, one cannot but think of the Saints as real people, as examples present in our everyday life”. What is important, she adds, “is that each person lives life and the humanity he has been called to live fully. So many times I look at my Haitian friends and colleagues, neighbors and acquaintances, who face each day of a difficult life with dignity, and I admire them. Perhaps if there are saints, examples to follow, they would be these: these simple people who silently get up every time and continue on their way”.
What is it that motivates you to stay there in spite of a devastating earthquake and now a hurricane?
Of course, the situation is difficult. However, we still have the idea that, if it were not so, if this country were not so difficult, then there would be no need to come to work and live here, right? AVSI has come here because we believe in the possibility of walking together, and we believe this personally, every day, hurricane or not. After the earthquake, we worked for months just on providing basic needs, humanitarian aid. Then, with great difficulty, we were able to convert these interventions into support for development. Today, we are ready to continue these projects alongside specific actions in support of the new victims. It is much more work, but it is our mandate.
What happened in Haiti with Hurricane Sandy?