It is surreal to look back and realize it has been two years since the earthquake hit Haiti, on January 12. It is even harder to remember the devastation because it is not a headline on every newspaper anymore. Simply because it happened quite some time ago does not mean that we should forget the destruction the earthquake left. This 7.0 magnitude quake killed or injured hundreds of thousands of its population. In July 2010, a few individual members of ACCESS travelled to Haiti to better understand the situation on the ground, as well as better direct fundraising initiatives to projects in Haiti.
Aminah Haghighi, who attended the trip to Haiti and has been a long-time supporter of ACCESS, shares her personal experience surrounding the trip.
“I remember when we first got on our bus that took us to Jacmel, the same thought pulsated through all our minds; almost 6 months later and you could still smell the death lingering in the air. The situation still looked uncertain and dangerous. With fear in our eyes, love and compassion in our hearts, we took in our surroundings as we visited tent communities, orphanages, prisons, and churches. It was a sense of hope that the people of Haiti taught us to have. And an unconditional love we had no choice but to embrace with open arms.”
The trip was also a learning experience, discovering the hope in the hearts of Haiti’s people, felt long after returning from the country.
“I don’t think I really knew what hope and faith truly meant until I let myself find these things in Haiti. From the words I scribbled in my journal to the flowers from the Bishop’s house I have dried and pressed, I can close my eyes and transport my mind back to Haiti. The children who went hungry but still just wanted to play, the parents whose only wish was to send their children to school, the families that walked up a steep hill to get to mass on Sundays; all of which taught me how resilient we are as humans. They were able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how precarious their situation may be. The common thread found throughout the Haitians? They all wanted a better future for their children and believed this could be achieved through education.”
Before the earthquake, ACCESS began sponsoring Phanuel, a Haitian student in attending University. Due to the damage to the school he was attending, Phanuel has resumed his post-secondary studies in the US, after which he is eager to return to Haiti to help his community.
ACCESS thanks everyone for their continued support in projects supporting education throughout developing countries, and more specifically Haiti on this 2-year anniversary of the devastation. Though it has been some time since the constant barrage of headlines regarding the quake, Haiti continues to suffer immensely and still needs the world’s support. ACCESS encourages supporters to have the same hope inspired by the Haitians to believe in a future paved through with education. Education is the key.
For more footage and journals from the 2010 Haiti Trip, please visit accesscharity.ca/haiti.