Haiti is a disaster that has become a catastrophe. For over 20 years, I have worked with Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos with homes for orphaned and abandoned children in nine countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. In Haiti, there is a home for 450 children and a pediatric hospital, St. Damien Chateaublond, which treated over 30,000 children last year.
Our Haitian organization, Nos Petits Freres et Soeurs, is led by Father Richard Frechette, a Catholic priest and physician. Father Rick has also organized schools and businesses to provide employment for the children who graduate from our homes. In an environment of corruption, dangerous gangs and very limited resources, he has inspired and developed productive and caring children. He has been helped by dedicated volunteers from Europe and the United States, one of whom perished in the earthquake.
Haiti cries out for our help, and there is human potential to build a creative society. But developmental assistance should be planned and closely directed by people like Father Rick, Dr. Paul Farmer and Haitian counterparts who have demonstrated their competence and integrity. Otherwise with all good intentions, all the funds sent to Haiti will soon disappear just like their trees and other natural resources.
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