Tag Archives: Caritas Haiti

New homes for Haitians

Keys to a new home built after the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Credit: Ryan Worms/Caritas

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By Ryan Worms

Almost two years on from the earthquake of 12 January 2010, more than 600,000 people are still displaced in camps. They live in extremely precarious conditions and their health security is at risk.

Three dioceses were particularly affected by the earthquake: Port-au-Prince, Jacmel and Anse-à-Veau/Miragoâne. In certain areas more than 90 percent of the houses were destroyed.

Duval is a village set in the hills above Port-au-Prince, one hour’s drive from the capital. Bernard and his family live in this area. His wife Marie Gerta St Hilaire recalls 12 January 2010: “When the ground started to shake I panicked. I asked my husband to come and help me, but he could barely stand up. When we were able to get back to our house, it wasn’t there anymore. Everything had been destroyed, and there was devastation everywhere. After a while, we moved into a shack with our children. It was very hard, and I didn’t know if we’d ever get out of it.”

There is renewed hope for Bernard and his family: the inauguration of their new house. It was built as part of a partnership between Caritas Haiti and Caritas Ecuador. In Duval, on this first Sunday of November, 31 other families received the keys of their new homes during a ceremony organised in the presence of the President of Caritas Ecuador, Msgr Julio Parrilla.
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Filed under Aid Success Story, Conflicts and Disasters, Disaster Preparedness, Ecuador, Emergencies, Emergencies in Haiti, Español, Français, Haiti, Latin America

En Haïti, à Trianon, la santé devient accessible.

L’ingénieur Marcelin Esterlin et le père Jean Serdieu. Le père dit « ce centre est le fruit des sacrifices de la communauté, de la solidarité de la population de Trianon et est un premier pas important vers le renouveau de notre région. »

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Par Ryan Worms

En ce samedi 5 novembre, la population de Trianon est en fête. C’est aujourd’hui qu’a lieu l’inauguration du centre de santé de la Caritas Hinche –Trianon, un événement majeur pour cette petite communauté de la région du Plateau central en Haïti.

Désormais, les populations de Trianon et des localités avoisinantes n’auront plus à voyager parfois durant plus de trois jours pour trouver où se soigner. Elles pourront recevoir dans ce nouveau centre de santé les vaccinations et une attention médicale 7 jours sur 7, 24h par jour. Les femmes pourront bénéficier d’un suivi prénatal et d’un accompagnement professionnel lors des accouchements. Une salle d’hospitalisation pourra également recevoir et traiter les cas les plus urgents pour une courte durée avant d’être transférés si nécessaire vers des centres hospitaliers plus importants. Continue reading

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Haiti: Nous chantons la vie

La chorale de la cathédrale. Credit Ryan Worms/Caritas 2011

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Jour férié à Port au Prince. Aujourd’hui, la ville commémore ses morts, nous sommes le 2 novembre.

La première visite que le chauffeur de Caritas Haïti me propose est à la cathédrale de la ville. Ce bâtiment imposant a été détruit lors du séisme du 12 janvier 2010. Il ne reste que certaines parties de la structure qui laisse imaginer la splendeur passée de la bâtisse. La façade est magnifique, quelques vitraux sont toujours perchés tout comme une des cloches que l’on aperçoit en haut d’une tour encore debout.

Lorsque vous pénétrez à l’intérieur, vous ne pouvez pas échapper à une étrange émotion. Le recueillement est de mise, la prière aussi. Ici, plus d’une centaine de personnes ont trouvé la mort. Lorsque la terre s’est mise à trembler, elles chantaient des louanges, faisaient monter leurs voix vers le ciel, la chorale majeure de Port au Prince était en pleine répétition.

De l’autre côté de la rue se trouve l’ancien évêché de la ville, lui aussi touché par le séisme. Nous traversons et voyons deux des cloches de l’ancienne cathédrale à terre. Est-ce que le bâtiment sera reconstruit ? Quand est-ce que les cloches sonneront à nouveau ? Impossible de le dire.

Pourtant, juste à côté, dans la petite église adjacente à l’ancien évêché, la vie chante à nouveau. En ce jour de commémoration des morts, la nouvelle chorale répète des cantiques. Une vingtaine de jeunes hommes et femmes, dont la voix n’est pas toujours assurée, lancent un message vibrant et plein d’espérance. Nous sommes le peuple d’Haïti, nous sommes la jeunesse de l’île, et aujourd’hui, jour des morts, nous chantons la vie.

Ryan Worms

Haiti: We’re singing life

It’s a holiday in Port-au-Prince. Today the city is remembering its dead. It’s the 2nd November.
A Caritas Haiti’s driver suggested I visit the city’s cathedral. This impressive building was destroyed during the earthquake on 12 January 2010. The few remaining portions of the structure allow one to imagine the building’s former splendour. The façade is magnificent and a few stained glass windows are still intact, as is one of the steeples above a tower that is still standing.

As you go inside, you can’t help being overcome by a strange emotion. Contemplation is the order of the day, and prayer too. More than one hundred people lost their lives here. When the earthquake began, they were singing hymns of praise, raising their voices heavenwards, as the main choir of Port-au-Prince was in full rehearsal.

On the other side of the street the old bishop’s palace was also affected by the earthquake. As we passed through we saw two bells from the former cathedral on the ground. Will the cathedral be rebuilt? When will these bells ring out again? It’s impossible to say.

However, nearby in a small church next to the former bishop’s palace, life is singing out once more. On this day of commemoration of the dead, the new choir is practising hymns. Around twenty young men and women are launching a vibrant message full of hope. We are the people of Haiti, the island’s young people, and today, the day of the dead, we’re singing life.

Ryan Worms

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Haiti mourns its loss one year after quake

Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, assured Haitians on the one-year anniversary of the Port-au-Prince earthquake that they are not alone in their sufferings. Photo by Alsy Acevedo/CRS

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Homily of Cardinal Robert Sarah, President of Pontifical Council Cor Unum

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

(Hebrews 2:14-18; Psalms 105:1-2, 3-4, 8-9; Mark 1:29-39)

Cher tout people Haïtien:

Moin poté la pé ak Ké Kontan Gran Mèt la pou nou.

Dear Haitian people,

I bring you the peace and joy of the Lord.

Exactly one year after the devastating earthquake that struck this dear country of Haiti, I come to you on behalf of the Holy Father. Through my presence, Pope Benedict XVI wishes to demonstrate his nearness to you. We are still in mourning for thousands of people who were dear to us: children, parents, brothers and sisters, as well as priests, religious and seminarians, including our Father and Brother, Monsignor Joseph Serge Miot, Archbishop of Port-au-Prince. All of these victims loved life just as much as we do. They lost it full of fear and in great pain. Some of them had family ties with you, and you are still mourning them. In an instant, many thousands of you lost all your possessions and today still don’t know how to plan a future life. Many remarkable buildings and monuments, some of them religious, lie in ruins. I’m thinking in particular of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, which once stood in the very place we are gathered today. Sickness and death continue to strike you. The joy of living seems to have been shattered by this tragedy caused by a natural disaster, and not by a divine curse. Continue reading

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Message from the Caritas family in Haiti

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Message from the Caritas family in Haiti
On the occasion of the first anniversary of the 12th January earthquake, the members of the Caritas Internationalis Confederation, in communion with Caritas Haiti, feel the need to express once more their proximity to all the victims of this tragedy. They reaffirm their faith in a better future for the Haitian people whom they want to continue to help, and they want to offer an inventive charity contributing to building a new society. Continue reading

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