Haiti earthquake: 8 years on
“If I have goats, turkeys and chickens, and I take care of them so they reproduce, that could help me during the hard times my family experiences,” says Monistile Celeste. He and his wife stand with livestock given to them by the American Red Cross to encourage economic activity in rural communities.
Carrefour-Feuilles, a community in Port-au-Prince, as seen from above in 2016. American Red Cross solar lights dot the landscape and illuminate a soccer field, which was also built with funds from the Red Cross.
Students sit for an exam at Fort-Mercredi School in Carrefour-Feuilles, Haiti. Schools suffered massive damage during the 2010 earthquake, but are now filled with energetic and eager kids. Over the past eight years, the American Red Cross has provided funding to reconstruct or renovate 46 schools in the country.
Sara Pierre is grateful for her rehabilitated home and the community infrastructure rebuilt with Red Cross funds. “Many of our needs were taken into account. In addition to houses rebuilt, retrofitted and reinforced, concrete corridors and paved roads replaced the slippery and impassable trails in rainy weather. Our whole neighborhood has changed. The image of the entire community is being rebuilt,” says Sara.
Wiskervens François, age 3, receives vitamins and vaccines during an American Red Cross-funded vaccination campaign at his local hospital. Since 2010, the American Red Cross has spent more than $4 million to vaccinate millions of Haitians against measles and cholera. It’s part of $73 million that the Red Cross has spent on improving Haitians’ access to vital health services.
A local resident practices fire extinguisher skills during a monthly street event in Port-au-Prince. At these events, Red Cross volunteers demonstrate ways for residents to prevent and address risks in their community. Since 2010, the American Red Cross has reached more than 600,000 people with disaster preparedness activities.
Red Cross volunteer, Jean Zacharie, performs first aid on one-month-old, Deborah Fatima, who lost her mother during the earthquake. Within hours of the disaster, the American Red Cross was providing urgently-needed medical care to some of the hundreds of thousands of injured Haitians.
Sterly Mitchelle Chery and a group of her peers learn how to use an excavator as part of youth vocational training funded by the American Red Cross. By funding these trainings and helping with internship placements, the Red Cross encouraged young women to join non-traditional fields—such as heavy machinery operation, welding, masonry and carpentry—leading them towards occupations with stable demand and good earning potential.
The Tapis Rouge public plaza in Carrefour-Feuilles—a former camp for displaced persons—now offers services for the surrounding community, including a space for vendors, recreational equipment and a water access point.
Dieumaitre Donald gives blood at a Haitian Red Cross donation center. Since the earthquake struck in 2010, the American Red Cross has provided support to the Haitian Red Cross to address national blood shortages and mitigate the risk of future shortages.
Pierre Raymond receives care at a cholera treatment center. The American Red Cross worked to prevent the spread of the disease by establishing and resourcing several cholera centers to provide rapid treatment for those infected and by addressing the underlying conditions in Haiti that allow cholera to spread.
Young women smile during their graduation ceremony in Port-au-Prince. The ambitious students received international qualifications for welding and will be able to jump start their careers in the field, thanks in part to an American Red Cross project done in collaboration with CECI.
At the request of community members, the American Red Cross upgraded shared infrastructure in Carrefour-Feuilles and implemented large-scale construction work which include public spaces—such as this soccer field—that facilitate and promote social cohesion.
Eight years after a devastating earthquake struck Haiti, donations given to the American Red Cross in its aftermath are still at work. We not only helped save lives during the emergency, but have helped people become safer, healthier, and more resilient to future disasters. There is always more work to be done, but we are proud of what we have been able to accomplish alongside Haitian communities and the Haitian Red Cross over the past eight years.
Some of our disaster relief and recovery work is very visible: rebuilding hospitals and clinics; renovating schools, constructing bridges and retaining walls. Other parts are less visible, but just as crucial, such as: providing 70% of the funds needed for the country’s first cholera vaccine campaign; engaging the community in decision-making; granting seed money to entrepreneurs; and training disaster responders so they can keep their neighbors safe.
We have carried out more than 100 projects in Haiti. Over the past eight years, the American Red Cross has:
We are still in Haiti—making vital improvements every day. We work alongside the Haitian Red Cross to respond to disasters and ensure that recovery in the country is community-driven and sustainable.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.