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A miracle amidst all this heartache

We arrive at the Salvation Army health centre, where Concern has been working since August 2008; it is now a camp for hundreds of Haitians.

As we drive through the streets, there is devastation at every turn; more bodies have been placed on the side of the road in the hope that they are lifted soon. The stench of the deceased lingers on.

Lenor and Celinda

I meet Lenor, 26, who yesterday gave birth to a little girl, Celinda. She is Lenor’s second child.

I live in Saint Martin…I lived in Saint Martin…my house is gone so I have been here [in the camp] since Tuesday night. I was so worried for my baby but she is fine.

Rays of sunshine Lenor gave birth to a healthy baby in midst of chaos

I ask Lenor if I can take a picture of her new arrival, a miracle amidst all this heartache. As the camera appears, the children flock around me asking me to take their picture. Their smiles are like rays of sunshine in this makeshift camp and I am made aware, once again, just how resilient the Haitian people are.

A new father

Through the children I see a man approaching me. His name is Pierre, and he too is a new father:

My wife had him yesterday, and his name is Friendly. I am filled with so many emotions right now. The earthquake destroyed my home and my sister was killed, my daughter was trapped in the rubble for four days but she was pulled free yesterday. She is ok, resting in another camp.

Miracles do happen. This morning, a further three people were rescued from the rubble at the collapsed supermarket. 60 were rescued yesterday. The search continues.

Distributions

As for Concern, we have already conducted rapid needs assessments of the worst affected areas, including 10 health centers where Concern was working before the earthquake. We have carried out distributions of critical medical supplies, plumpy nut, food and water to the State University Hospital.

In two of our project areas, we have distributed pick axes (to clear rubble), surgical gloves, disinfectant, water purification tablets, water and first aid supplies to community leaders. There are three relief charters carrying supplies (tents, jerry cans, plastic sheeting, water pumps, bladder tanks and plumpy nuts) on the way. Concern CEO Tom Arnold flies in with one tonight.

Working tirelessly

Over the coming days, Concern will work tirelessly to provide as much support and assistance as possible to the people of Haiti. As I type, a 10,000 litre bladder tank is being prepared by our water and sanitation specialist who arrived from Santo Domingo this morning. I will keep you updated on Concern’s progress here in Port-au-Prince.