Allie Stryker 2013-12-11 08:06:19
LCIF, Lions Continue Helping Haiti In a world rocked by frequent disasters, an earthquake that happened four years ago far away can fade from memory. But it’s a different story for those in the disaster area. Some people who lost their homes in Haiti, devastated by an earthquake in January 2010, still reside in tents. But thanks to an initiative of Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), the Lions of Multiple District 111 in Germany, Lions of Haiti and HELP, a German nongovernmental organization, 600 Haitian families moved from tent cities into temporary homes. LCIF, HELP and ECHO (the humanitarian aid department of the European Union) also are building permanent homes and latrines for families in need. With contributions from Lions clubs, districts and individuals, $6 million was donated to LCIF for earthquake relief efforts in Haiti. Lions have helped people regain a sense of normalcy. A key partner has been HELP, which provides disaster relief and encourages communities to take charge of the improvements needed. The three people profiled here are among the many thousands of people Lions and LCIF have assisted in Haiti. LCIF also helps Lions provide disaster relief all over the world, from the Philippines and Oklahoma to Japan, India and wherever help is needed. If you would like to contribute to LCIF’s disaster relief fund, please visit www.lcif.org/donate. Thank you for your support. Guirlande Jean-Baptiste Because of the earthquake, Jean-Baptiste, 37, lost her job and had to move to Camp Cospic with her two children. It was hard to find work, but she eventually found a job providing cleaning services for an NGO. “This shelter means a lot to me,” says Jean-Baptiste, who moved into her new house a year ago. “I don’t have the means to build a house on my own … The life conditions in the camp weren’t good. The tent didn’t protect us from rain, heat or strong winds. It was terrible living there–imagine, with two teenagers–especially during the hurricane seasons and through the terrible storms of last year, including hurricanes Isaac and Sandy. I don’t know how to thank you.” Louis Amalia Amalia, 80, moved into a house in November 2012 after living in Camp Franck Hector following the earthquake. “Before the earthquake I sold soap and biscuits as my livelihood. Even in the camp I continued with this activity but it was very hard because my stock was destroyed by the earthquake,” says Amalia, who loves the intimacy of her house. “In the camp you were never alone, except inside the small, dark tent. With age, you need time for yourself, a quiet place where you can repose.” Jean Felix Rosélie A mother of four, Rosélie, 48, moved to Camp Cospic with her children after the earthquake. For three years, they lived in a tent that was too small, too hot and offered little protection. Rosélie made a living by selling secondhand clothing. Her family moved into a house in November 2012. “One year ago, my husband died and I was alone with my four kids. It is very hard for me to carry all the sorrows about the future of my kids on my own shoulders,” she says. “I was very happy to move into the new house. Air goes through the windows, and there is intimacy. I quit selling clothes and am now selling cold drinks and omelets from my house.”
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