Tiny rays of hope in Haiti
Written by Hayley Jarvis for SOS Children.
In the aftermath of Haiti's 7.3 Richter earthquake, despair is everywhere. But when rescuers carried Redjeson Hausteen Claude from the wreckage of his collapsed home, in Port-au-Prince, the two-year-old became a symbol of hope. As Haitians were still waiting for help after Tuesday’s devastating earthquake, bodies piled up in the streets, families’ hopes of finding loved ones alive were fading fast.
Covered in dust, Redjeson Hausteen looked bemused as he was pulled free by a Spanish fireman on Friday, but cracked a winning grin as he was reunited with his mother, Daphnee Plaisin, and father, Reginald Claude. He will now be checked for broken bones and treated for thirst and malnutrition but, unlike so many others, is expected to survive.
Also in Port-au-Prince, seven Americans and one Haitian survivor were pulled from the remains of the Hotel Montana after being trapped in the dark since the quake hit on Tuesday afternoon. Aid flights from around the world have the infrastructure to cope. The United Nations World Food Programme said it was collecting enough to feed two million people for the next month. But its main Port-au-Prince warehouse, where it stored 15,000 tonnes of food before the quake was looted, it emerged on Friday. Hundreds of thousands of people, many of them injured, are sleeping in the open air.
“We’ve been out here waiting for three days and three nights but nothing has been done for us, not even a word of encouragement from the President," said Pierre Jackson. "What should we do?"
Meanwhile former US President Bill Clinton expressed hope Friday that Haiti can be rebuilt. But Clinton, who was appointed the United Nation's special envoy to Haiti in 2008, said the island first needs to get through the next week or two with as much help as possible from donors. "When this emergency passes, when we've gone through all the rubble, when we've recovered every person we possible can, living and dead, when we cleared the streets, then we know Haiti is going to have to get back on its feet again and we want to be part of that," Clinton told Fox News. "We can rebuild," he said.