From the Field – Relevant News
Today, Dec 11, 2010, is the 4th day we have been working at the medical camps; the fatigued medical personnel and volunteers are beginning to feel the effects of long hours of hard work, exposure to dust, and harsh weather conditions.
When we first arrived in the area, we were guided to a village in the heart of the barren wilderness. The surrounding land is infertile and inhospitable, empty other than a few rocks scattered here and there. The people in the nearby public building have lost their homes to the floods. Surprisingly, the community is well-populated, despite the inhumane living conditions.
We met with Mr. Mamtaz, the President of the Roshni Development Organization (RDO), who explained to us how the people in the area had been abandoned by the NGOs and political parties. Under the direction of Mr. Stanley David, member of the RDO and our collaborator, we set up a medical camp. Our efforts were received with gratitude by Mr. Mamtaz, Mr. Stanley, and the approximately two hundred patients who were treated. Many people notice the banner on our van advertising free medical care, which gives them somewhat of an idea of who we are and of the services we provide.
Shortly after our arrival, we were greeted by a woman who told us that she was not producing milk for her infant child. It dawned on us that we had neglected to bring Lactogin with us. We noticed that several of the other newborns appeared malnourished, weak and fragile; the nursing mothers, too, appeared to be emaciated. We realized the necessity of stocking the requested item. We made arrangements to acquire Lactogin immediately in a quantity sufficient to supply all the needs of children under six months of age.
The population appears satisfied with the quality of our supplies. The people particularly appreciated our stock of medications such as Panadol (acetaminophen) for pain, Lactogin for the infants and their mothers, and other medicines such as cough syrup, tablets for fever, etc. The inhabitants of the village compare the quality of our services with those of the other NGOs and Government health facilities. They like our work and appreciate our genuine desire to serve, which flows from the heart of St. Camillus. Our presence has been a source of hope and joy for these people, who have been experiencing abandonment.
The mothers were delighted when we photographed their children. Many mothers approached me and requested that I take the pictures of their children. They were very glad for this simple joy. It brought smiles to their faces, which were once withered, seemingly hopeless. The spirit of St. Camillus continues touching the lives of many through the people of good will who bring the “Good News” of health and salvation!
Our presence in the desolate area, the availability of medications and sustenance, has brought new hope to the desolate situation. The people have seemed to gain new life. Their apathy has been replaced by faith and positive energy. They rejoice although they are surrounded by desolate wilderness.
Perhaps Isaiah includes these people when he said: “The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom…” (Is 35:1).
Bro. Mushtaq Anjum, MI Ministers of the Infirm (CAMILLIANS) Philippine Province http://www.camilliansphil.orgRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Mushtaq, a Camillian from Pakistan who is the mission coordinator of our efforts in the wake of the floods, sends us an article on the situation in Sindh, a desperate one that led us to help construct houses and provide other relief in the area.
DADU, 16 November 2010 (IRIN) – Like tens of thousands of others in the southern province of Sindh, Ghulam Uddin and his family of eight are all but marooned more than 100 days after floodwater started swamping huge chunks of Pakistan in late July.
Chest-deep water surrounds their house in a village in Dadu district, which has turned fields into lakes and destroyed all of Uddin’s carefully cultivated crops, and though it is possible to wade through the water, it is not easy.
“I cannot see how we are going to get back to anything resembling normal,” Uddin told IRIN. “My elderly mother insisted we come back because she hated life in the camps [set up to provide emergency shelter].” His house has been badly damaged, and the family is living in the open, dependent on hand-outs of food. Most of the other villagers have not yet returned.
“There are around one and a half million people in Sindh who are still primarily displaced and have not been able to return home, and about another one and a half million who have managed to get close to their houses, but not move back,” Thomas Gurtner, the UN Principal Humanitarian Advisor for Sindh, told IRIN.
In Dadu district there were still a “few thousand people” marooned, but it was “very hard to know exactly how many,” he said. Most people whose homes were surrounded by water had been “reached at least once if not twice by tractors, trolleys and so on for the delivery of humanitarian aid.”
Life is not easy for those who have returned home. “Things here are tough. Our house is badly damaged and we have lost all our livestock,” said Saleem Ahmed, 50, who lives in the town of Khairpur Nathan Shah in Sukkur district. “We are being forgotten, and will just have to manage on our own.”
Anwar Kazmi, a spokesman for the charitable Edhi Foundation, told IRIN: “We are focusing on providing seed and fertilizer to flood victims who have returned home.” Many other organizations are also providing what assistance they can, but media attention has swung away from flood victims and donations are thinner.
“In August, at the height of the floods, most people who came to my [shoe] shop put in a few coins or currency notes for flood victims [in a collection box on the counter]. Now hardly anyone does,” said Muhamad Inayat, a trader in the Saddar area of Karachi, capital of Sindh Province.
Claire Seaward, Advocacy, Media and Communication Manager for the UK-based charity, Oxfam, told IRIN: “There is a real danger that this crisis will be forgotten, and we need to do everything we can to prevent that from happening. While recovery work is underway in many areas as people have moved back home, large areas of . Sindh are still under water, around 1 million remain displaced, and only a tiny percentage of people have received any shelter – the emergency is not over.”
She added: “The world has been hit hard by crises in 2010, and funds are running low, but with nearly seven million Pakistanis living without shelter and winter fast approaching, aid is needed now more than ever.”
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), “The revised Pakistan Floods Emergency Response Plan (FERP) envisages activities costing US$1.93 billion over a one-year timeframe.”
So far, around $867.4 million (44.8 percent of requirements) has been contributed, and a further $5.9 million has been pledged, leaving a considerable gap.
Ministers of the Infirm (CAMILLIANS)
20 million people were displaced by the floods in Pakistan. CTF-SOS DRS is providing many of them with medical care, shelter, pastoral care and humanitarian support. Please help us help those affected by the floods in Pakistan
Pakistani Christians complain of bias
Published Date: October 18, 2010
|Houses destroyed by floods in Khushpur village|
Christian groups are alleging discrimination against Christian flood victims receiving relief aid .
“Government as well as other NGOs are giving priority to Muslim flood victims. We condemn this attitude,” said Ashir Dean, assistant Director of the Development and Relief programs of the Church of Pakistan in Peshawar diocese, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Similarly, Khushpur village in Punjab province was not included in a government scheme for the disbursement of a flood relief cash grant of 20,000 rupees (US$ 235) per family.
The locals in this biggest Catholic village in country recently started reconstruction of their destroyed house after Caritas Pakistan handed over building material last month.
“The authorities are favoring their own people. The federal minister for minorities is also from our village but still we did not receive any help from the government,” said Stephen Rufin, a retired Catechist.
As of Oct. 15, Caritas Pakistan, the Catholic Church’s social service agency in the country has distributed relief items among 25,710 families since floods hit the country in late July. About 2,000 people died and another some 20 million affected by the floods that covered almost one-fifth of the country. Caritas’ beneficiaries include only 1678 families from religious minority communities.
Media reports say the flood affected
• About 200,000 Christians in Punjab province
• About 600,000 Christians and Hindus in Sindh province
• 1,210 Christian and 220 Hindu families in the northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province
“We have heard of Christians being denied flood relief aid in interior Sindh province. This is discouraging news as most of our beneficiaries are Muslims,” said Shamas Shamaun, executive secretary of Caritas Pakistan in the southern Hyderabad diocese.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Office and Community Manager - Project Perpetual Help Haiti
Help significantly those affected by the earthquake in Haiti. Contribute to the development and implementation of Project Perpetual Help Haiti. Become a member of the newly established CTF-SOS DRS community in Port au Prince where we live, work and worship together.
CTF-SOS DRS is an international, Catholic, non-profit disaster relief organization based in both Rome, Italy and Milwaukee, Wisconsin (www.sosdrs.org). The organization seeks a person who is people-oriented, reliable, hardworking, and eager-to-learn who will serve as the office and community manager.
CTF-SOS DRS is presently planning and implementing several relief programs in Haiti. The presence of a likeable, trustworthy and skilled person who wants to be part of the community in Port au Prince will play an essential role in the success of the Project.
Required is an ability to use the English language very well (written and verbal); good typing skills, some management experience, computer software skills (MS Word and Excel at a minimum); a minimum stay in Haiti of 2 months; a willingness to live the mission of CTF-SOS DRS as attested to by reading and signing the volunteer contract and the document outlining the rights and responsibilities of a community member.
Very helpful would be a knowledge of Quickbooks and bookkeeping skills; French and/or the Kreyol language; previous missionary experience.
The office and community manager will maintain the office in Port au Prince under the supervision of the Project Coordinator, Fr. Scott Binet, or his vicar. He/she will also manage the community in coordination with the community leader. This will involve primarily supervising ancillary personnel and facilitating the activities of the community.
An initial interview will be conducted by telephone or in person if possible. The volunteer applicant will be expected to submit a CV (curriculum vitae) prior to the interview.
Once accepted, the applicant will undergo a brief period of orientation/preparation and then fly to Port au Prince, Haiti to reside in the community. Expenses related to travel, room and board will be covered by CTF-SOS DRS. Personal expenses will be the responsibility of the volunteer.
With time the position may involve financial compensation. If there are any questions about the position, please e-mail Fr. Scott at email@example.com or call him on SKYPE – fr.scottbinet.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
“According to our research and conversations with aid groups in Haiti, less than 5 percent of this [debris] has been removed since January, and even less has been properly disposed of. Based on our calculations … we estimate that it could take 20 years or more.”
Comment: Eternal Weight. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the article upon reading the title. All things eternal interest me though so it caught my eye. The eternal weight referred to ostensibly has little to do with the heavens, however, and everything to do with the pun that is intended: the amount of debris clogging the streets of Port au Prince and elsewhere from the earthquake seems like an eternal weight – heavy and one that will be around for a very long time – eternally if you will. At least there is no end in sight. Thus, in my opinion, the real meaning of the title and the sad reality that we face here in Haiti: the amount of time that we will have to wait until the debris to be cleaned up is likely to seem like an eternal weight - a very long wait.
”The quake left an astonishing amount of debris, including concrete and rebar from collapsed buildings, destroyed belongings and human remains. According to our research and conversations with aid groups in Haiti, less than 5 percent of this has been removed since January, and even less has been properly disposed of. Based on our calculations, partially from the United States Agency for International Development’s reports on debris removal programs, we estimate that it could take 20 years or more.”
“Some streets with especially large piles of refuse are impassable. As a result, it can take hours to travel just a few miles. Meanwhile, schools, hospitals, businesses and homes remain blocked.”
Permit me an analogy: the human body is a bit like Haiti. The former with time and a lack of appropriate maintenance given its increasing fragility and finite nature is susceptible to catastrophic illness – stroke or myocardial infarction for example. And the body becomes even more vulnerable to floating debris, cholesterol plaques and atheroma formation without adequate treatment -surgical and/or medical.
Well, such is the case with Haiti as well. Given its fragility and other factors, Haiti deteriorated over time. Then it was the victim of a catastrophic illness – an earthquake. And its capital – the heart and the brain of the country – Port au Prince - was hit the worst. It was an infarct that has crippled much of the rest of the country and greatly decreased the flow of goods. And like with the human heart after a myocardial infarction that remains vulnerable to chemicals, etc. floating in the blood stream that build up on vessel walls and then cause a lethal or debilitating obstruction, so also is Port au Prince suffering from a great buildup of debris in its roads and byways – the vessels that allow people, goods and vehicles to move effectively. And the debris that includes rubble, garbage, metal and all sorts of material has caused significant obstruction in many places. The city is in need of prompt medical or surgical treatment or its inhabitants and others are sure to suffer more than they already are.
It seems that we should hope that an eternal weight does not await us as the present obstruction could prove even more threatening if not deadly. “The debris is also an environmental and health hazard. The daily downpours of the rainy season leach toxic chemicals and carcinogens into the storm water system — and ultimately into the drinking water. Debris has been dumped into the sea, turning the blue water brown.”
Eternal weight - the words ostensibly have a negative connotation – either indicating a weight of rubble and debris that will be around for a long time or a very long wait before it is actually removed. However, let me suggest a more positive – indeed hope-filled – way of looking at the two words Eternal weight. And for this I draw from one of my favorite Fathers of the Church – St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), the saintly bishop who is also one of the greatest and most prolific writers of all time. He wrote Confessions and City of God among others.
First, though, it is appropriate to ask – Quo vadis Haiti? Where are you going? Many of your streets are blocked with debris – garbage, rubble, rebar, remains, etc. And your way forward in the wake of the earthquake seems to be filled with many obstacles. Quo vadis Haiti? Maybe St. Augustine can help you and others as they assist you in moving forward.
How? “Thou hast made us for thyself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in thee.” Peter Kreeft, a Catholic philosopher and prolific writer, notes that this is arguably the greatest sentence ever written outside Scripture because it tells us the secret of our destiny, our happiness—and our unhappiness. It is, however, not only unfashionable but terribly threatening.”
“Where are you going? That’s the most important question for a traveler. And we the living are all travelers.” You also Haiti. You are traveling. Death has called and is calling us all and moves us on. Stability is illusion. ”Where are you going Haiti?
Amor meus, pondus meum, said Augustine: “My love is my weight.” In other words, that which I love will pull on me like a weight is influenced by gravity. And if my primary love is God, then my love is an eternal weight. Quo vadis? If God is my eternal weight – my love, Heaven is my destination.
“The truth is that man has a heaven-sized hole in his heart, and nothing else can fill it. We pass our lives trying to fill the Grand Canyon with marbles.” Everyone longs for “something no eye has seen, no ear has heard, something that has not entered into the imagination of man, something God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Cor 2:9)
“Home—that’s what heaven is. It won’t appear strange and faraway and “supernatural”, but utterly natural. Heaven is what we were designed for. People think heaven is escapist because they fear that thinking about heaven will distract us from living well here and now. It is exactly the opposite, and the lives of the saints and our Lord himself prove it. Those who truly love heaven will do the most for earth. [emphasis mine] It’s easy to see why. Those who love the homeland best work the hardest in the colonies to make them resemble the homeland. “Thy kingdom come. .. on earth as it is in heaven.”
Quo vadis Haiti? Your path may be blocked with much debris. And it is a threat that is obstructing the vessels of your heart – Port au Prince. The garbage, rebar, concrete and remains are an obstacle that seems to be an eternal weight – too much to remove in a period that is too long. But if you and those who are helping you understand, focus on and seek the true eternal weight - your true destination, then nothing will stand in your way. There is no debris, no weight, that you cannot lift. Those who truly love heaven will do the most for earth, including Haiti.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
ROME (Reuters) – Demonstrators from the earthquake-stricken city of L’Aquila clashed with police in central Rome on Wednesday as they tried to get close to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s office, witnesses said. At least one person was injured and police in riot gear were trying to control the crowd.
Comment: Who would have “thunk it” . More than 15 months after the devastating earthquake struck Aquila and the surrounding region of Abruzzo, some of the people affected are in Rome – some 2 1/2 hours away by car – protesting against the government’s slow reconstruction response.
I see their point. I was in central Aquila in May and it looked much the same. At least the older part of the city that I saw was not much different: condemned buildings were still – condemned; the public had limited access to most public places; the fate of certain parts of the city was uncertain.
Uncertainty and impotence are hard to deal with – especially for the traumatized. I remember the first time I was in Aquila after the earthquake. I met a woman who was standing right outside the well-guarded entrance to the old city. She lived there before the quake. Now she could only long to return to her residence. Her tears were those of frustration, sadness and nostalgia, but mostly trauma: ”Look at the buildings, ” she said. ”They have been damaged. Yes. But we have been destroyed. Our lives have been destroyed.”
I was moved deeply by this woman’s tears and the sense of impotence and uncertainty that her voice betrayed. This woman was quite unsure about what lay ahead for her and her family. It was at that moment that it became clear what the theme for the work of CTF-SOS DRS in Abruzzo would be : our efforts would be directed at reconstructing people’s lives.
Governments often have the primary role in reconstructing buildings and stores and homes after disasters. And that is good. I have seen, though, that they are often less concerned with reconstructing people’s lives. That is not so good. It is human beings that suffer the most from disasters: they lose loved ones, homes, jobs, health and often a dreamed-for-future. Nothing will ever be the same again – for many.
The least that governments can do for people after disasters is to somehow provide their traumatized citizens with some sense of security, certainty about the future and empowerment. “The protest in the centre of Rome is a blow for Berlusconi, who has repeatedly presented his hands-on response to the disaster in L’Aquila as one of the main successes of his two-year old government…residents say that after a flurry of headline-grabbing initiatives many have been left to fend for themselves as reconstruction money ran out. We lost everything and they took us for a ride,” one demonstrator shouted.”
I don’t know if the woman that I met in Aquila was in Rome that day protesting the government’s slow reconstruction response. I doubt it, but you never know. Even grandmothers can be vociferous when they feel what is due them is delayed in its coming. Somehow I can’t imagine this grandmother clashing with the police though. On the other hand, I can see her at the ballot box. Caveat Berlusconi!
The people in Haiti are starting to protest the lack of a government response to their plight. Reconstruction is minimal and a significant number of the people in the 1300 camps are hot and frustrated. Many public employees, or so I have heard, have not been paid in a while. The situation here could deteriorate quickly. And recourse to the ballot box is a not-so-well established tradition here in Haiti. At least not as well as it is in Italy. So who knows what will happen…
We are not at almost 6 months after the quake. I believe that the next 9 months in Haiti will pass much more slowly than it did in Italy. And if it does, the natives are sure to get restless. I have already seen many who are – even grandmothers. I hope we don’t see any of them clashing with the police here in Port au Prince or elsewhere. Stay tuned.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
The Daily Star [Dhaka, Bangladesh] – “But if we look at the recent earthquakes in Chile and Haiti, the Richter scale magnitude appears as not the major factor that contributed to the damages. Chile earthquake was far stronger (8.8 magnitude) than the Haiti earthquake (7.0 magnitude) yet the death toll and other damages in Haiti happened to be higher than Chile. What was the reason behind ?”
Comment: An interesting article with much information and an important point – in case you ever wondered: it was the social factors more than the geological that caused the damages from the earthquake in Haiti to be so much greater. That was despite the fact that the earthquake in Chile was 1,000 times more powerful!
We now know what factors are correlated the most with damages after an earthquake. That is good news, right? or is it bad? Both, I guess – the good news is that it may help to prevent problems in the future in Haiti and elsewhere if we can alter the social factors before the fact. The bad news is: the Haitian government reported that an estimated 230,000 people had died, 300,000 had been injured and 1,000,000 made homeless making it one of the worst natural disasters in modern history.
I have been in Haiti now for almost 6 months. Today I drove downtown to get some water and to buy some food for our new community. The devastation and the exacerbation of the poverty wrought by the earthquake were still everywhere apparent. While I believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel, at least in the short-term I think it might be an oncoming train. It has rained 2 of the last 3 nights and the hurricane season just started. Things could get worse. Imagine that.
Social factors? I saw them as we drove through the rubble in Port au Prince and the ladies accosted us from all sides trying to sell their goods and telling us they were hungry. “Please, buy my pineapples..I am hungry and I need money to eat.”
“Social factors are the economy of a country, compliance of building codes, per capita number of seismologists and earthquake engineers, evacuation plan, presence of integrated management system and previous experience of handling earthquake catastrophes”. Guess what….
Economies don’t become robust overnight nor do they fail in a similar amount of time, although the decline is ostensibly more precipitous. Economy?
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, recently noted that Pope Benedict the XVI’s recent encyclical “Caritas in Veritate” calls for the economy to be understood as “human activity that accords with the integral development of peoples”. He warned that making the economy an absolute will end up “subverting the order between ends and means.”
Ends and means? If you know anything about Catholic morality, you remember the basic principle that a good end does not justify an evil means. Tell that to the US government and its attitude towards Haiti over the last several hundred years -at least as far as I read Dr. Paul Farmer in his book The Uses of Haiti.
In an interview of the author we read ”in 1994 Dr. Farmer wrote The Uses of Haiti, a sweeping history that reveals the consistent role of foreign powers, especially the United States [emphasis mine], in the exploitation and oppression of the Haitian people… The book rips apart the myth, so often repeated in the New York Times and other mainstream media outlets, that Haiti is a world apart, inexplicably the “poorest country in the Western hemisphere.” Farmer shows that Haiti has always been enmeshed in a global system of imperialist competition, its resources and people ruthlessly exploited for profit, its repeated struggles for liberation brutally suppressed. As Noam Chomsky wrote in the 1994 introduction, the book “tells the truth about what has been happening in Haiti, and the U.S. role [emphasis mine] in its bitter fate.”‘ So much for an economic system that produces integral human development as called for in Caritatis in Veritate.
Pope John Paul II, in his book Love and Responsibility [see a summary] , points out that the opposite of love is….wait, guess……what do you think? …. guess? Do you give up? ……use! Yes, the opposite of love is not hate (I bet that is what you guessed) but use! Using someone is about trying to reach a good end through an evil means.
The Uses of Haiti points out how over the last several hundred years largely imperialist powers – read the US - have used Haiti for their own ends: profit…yes proft. An evil means for a good end. The betterment of the US economy through the exploitation of Haitians – cheap labor, etc.
So if the major reasons for the damages that result from any earthquakes are primarily social in nature and a poor economy and all of the manifestations thereof are first among those reasons; and the use of Haiti by the US over the years is one if not the major factor in the country’s arguably deplorable state before the earthquake, then the United States is in no small part responsable for what happened to Haiti on January 12. The logic utilized here may not be exactly that of an Aristotelian syllogism, but the conclusion does seem to follow from the premises.
And if that conclusion is correct let us hope that the US recognizes the error of its ways and makes amends for its past. And if it will not do that, maybe those in authority who can help Haiti could at least read Pope John Paul II’s book Love and Responsibility . Ok, it is a bit long. Maybe they could read Benedict’s encyclical Caritatis in Veritate. I am expecting too much you say. Ok, let’s settle for those in authority reading Cardinal Bertone’s pithy remarks. That would seem to be a good use of their time: a good means for a good end.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
[Video - NTDTV] Chile Quake Survivors Still Struggling -
[Emilio Gutierrez, Local Resident]:
“I can’t find my son. He’s four years old. I found my father but I can’t find my son. For a father, it’s very painful to lose a son and also a father. I lost both of them. I’ve been looking for my son for three months”
Comment: A tragic reality for sure, the loss of a son and the superimposed lack of a body to identify and then bury. The sense of “incompleteness” must be devastating….no closure.
The video illustrates the effects of the disaster on Constitucion, Chile well. I was at the pictured disaster site in Constitucion during a recent visit to Chile. Marco Iazzolino and I were in the country to help with the CTF-SOS DRS earthquake relief project in Parral and Cauquenes.
The devastation in Constitution reminded me of what I saw in Indonesia in 2005 after the Tsunami hit Banda Aceh. I met many who were separated from their loved ones by the disaster and were never able to find their bodies - no closure.
Another reason people are not able to reach closure in disasters is because they develop feelings of dissatisfaction, anger, frustration, and mistrust – amongst others – when those in authority do not provide an adequate response to the disaster. They either do not address the needs of the people affected in a timely manner or at all. I saw this type of lack of closure in Indonesia. And I have witnessed it in Chile and Haiti as well.
More than once during my visit to Santiago, Parral and Cauquenes in Chile I heard that the national government had underreported the strength of the February 27 earthquake in order to avoid having to comply with the international legal requirements regarding the provision of benefits for the Chilean people. Similarly, the authorities did not ask for enough international aid because they did not want to look like a country that needs help, i.e. a developing nation.
While I cannot cite sources and do not know that both of these points are in fact true, I do know that in Cauquenes and Parral the government was very slow to help the hospitals there. That is why CTF-SOS DRS together with Misericordiae decided to provide modules for hospital beds to help the sick and the elderly in light of the oncoming winter.
The reasons why governments are often slow in responding to disasters and helping people adequately are myriad. Sure, man-made and natural calamities produce complex realities. But unfortunately they also produce opportunities for corruption, greed, opportunism, and the misuse of power.
Disasters are a clarion call to each of us to reach out to our neighbor and to help him. God knows we may need help ourselves someday after a disaster. These tragedies also bring out both what is best and worst in man. They reveal that gulf between charity and use, that distance between man showing love and compassion towards his neighbor on the one hand and using him as a means to an end on the other. That, unfortunately, will continue to be our lot in this world infected by both original and actual sin – in disasters and otherwise – until we reach closure, final closure that is. God help us.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Haiti’s Camps of Despair
July 3 – Haiti – Elections?
July 4 – Haiti – Camps of Despair
July 6 – Haiti and Chile – Lessons Learned
July 8 – Haiti – Eternal Weight
October 24 – Pakistani Christians Complain of Bias in Relief
Let’s start a discussion. Let’s talk about issues – important ones, controversial ones, interesting ones.
Do you have relevant “News from the Field” where CTF-SOS DRS is providing disaster relief – in Chile, Haiti, Italy, the Philippines or Kenya? Here is a link to news articles from places where CTF-SOS DRS is working: Google Articles of Stories from Disasters where CTF-SOS DRS is working.
If you read an article and you want to comment, please use the format utilized in Haiti – Eternal Weight
And send your article and comment to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can write in English or whatever language…just write.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – President Rene Preval on Wednesday rejected U.S. Senate proposals for upcoming elections in Haiti and said one of them could even sow “anarchy” in the earthquake-shattered Caribbean country.
Comment: Haiti’s tumultuous electoral history promises to be only more so in the wake of the seismic shift that took place on January 12. When I talk to many here they say the country is not ready for elections: people are tired, displaced, traumatized, lacking in trust and focused on other issues like food, water, shelter and survival.
We will be watching the electoral situation closely as the summer progresses given our intent to continue to serve the people in Haiti – election or not. And our new community/base is located in a political hotbed.
If anyone says elections will go on peacefully I will have to say that I’m a bit of a doubting Thomas: I will believe it when I see it. I guess that is somewhat appropriate since July 3 is the Apostle’s feast. In any case, let us hope there is no anarchy…Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )