This week we have been working on launching our cash for work programs in two new ares: Delmas 2-18 and Village Solidarite. I was not familiar with either of these areas of Port-au-Prince before Monday. The lower Delmas neighborhoods, while tent cities are prevalent, a majority of the homes we saw were still standing. Village Solidarite was not so lucky. It is the only neighborhood I have been in since my return to Haiti where the destruction is absolute.
April 1, 2010 by Jillian
On the eve of the Easter holiday weekend, I am excited to spend a long weekend with my husband, but I have been extremely touched by the plight of the Haitian people within the neighborhood of Village Solidarite. As many of you know I started my new job last week. My days are full of UN meetings, ironing out operational kinks, getting new projects up and running, and doing site visits. I have thoroughly enjoyed becoming part of this new team and I am excited for the work ahead.
The need here is clear. The community leaders we talked with said the priority is to rebuild, but the problem is with so many bodies still trapped within the rubble families do not want to return to their homes, which now have become the graves of their loved ones. The question is how to help these people move on without pushing and causing additional trauma, especially when the reality is the rainy season is upon us and hurricane season is around the corner.
Our goal is to provide a way for people to move on while knowing that building a shelter or giving out a microcredit loan will never replace what and/or who they lost. The next few weeks will be trying as myself and my team try to walk this delicate line, but while I do not expect anyone will forget the ones who have gone on before us, it is my job to prioritze the living.