Haiti 2 Years Later: Build with Us

The following is from Lt.-Colonel Heidi Bailey, International Haiti Earthquake Response Director, IHQ –London

“Do not be an observer, become a builder”

“There is a city to build. There is a country to save. Do not be an observer, become a builder.”

In January 2011, one year after a 7.0 earthquake rocked the country of Haiti, these inspirational words were spoken at a Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving in Port-au-Prince. The speaker was Divisional Commander Major Lucien Lamartiniere, himself a victim of the disaster.

For more than 60 years The Salvation Army in Haiti has been a builder of relationships and caring communities in Christ’s name. Over these years The Salvation Army has built a national ministry of schools, children’s homes, health clinics and social service centers that serve thousands every  year.  Today, two years after the earthquake, the local Salvation Army continues to work tirelessly to help the people of Haiti, in spite of post-earthquake challenges caused by hurricanes, a cholera epidemic and the aftermath of political elections.

The Salvation Army’s Haiti Recovery and Development Office (HRD), based in Port-au-Prince, builds on the firm foundation of the Army’s years of experience in Haiti through the proposal and implementation of projects which unite the Haiti Division’s post-earthquake priorities with the generous international response to the 2010 earthquake. Thanks to the support of our international donors, both private and public, The Salvation Army has provided nearly 8 million meals to families in need, medical care for more than 30,000 patients, and shelter and hygiene support for 20,000 people living homeless in the Place de la Paix square next to The Salvation Army Haiti headquarters.  Now the HRD Office is implementing multiple post-earthquake community development projects, providing educational and social capacity building, livelihood support, vocational training, medical assistance, agriculture production, the rebuilding of more than 20 schools and permanent housing for vulnerable families.

While there is a sense of accomplishment in what has been done, the needs in Haiti remain great.  More than 600,000 people are still living in tents, schoolchildren are still in temporary facilities and the government struggles to move forward to meet the needs of its citizens.  And so today, two years after a national disaster that changed Haiti forever, The Salvation Army continues to rebuild, not only buildings, but precious lives as well!

Yes, there is still a city to build, and a country to save, and The Salvation Army thanks you for being a builder in Haiti, from your corner of the world!

May God bless you and yours in 2012.

For more updates on The Salvation Army’s Recovery & Development efforts, Click Here.