I have been thinking and praying about Haiti ever since the world found out about the disastrous earthquake that shook this little country. I remember looking for a ticket that very same day, however all the airports were closed. I also tried to get in touch with organizations that were already working in Haiti, to no avail.
I remember catching myself on the thought that I am finally here, in Haiti, but the sight was not the one desired or the one expected. The island is in ruins, both physically and morally. Although I am originally from the poorest country in Europe, but the sights I witnessed in Haiti shook any previous conceptions of poverty and disaster I might have had. Pain, sorrow and weeping despair is what I saw in the eyes of the children who lost their homes and their families.
I decided to go to Haiti for several reasons. First of all, I joined a group whose mission was to help a team of nurses in conducting medical clinics, as well as distributing clothes and food. Also, I arrived to Port-au-Prince as a photographer eager to capture the life of the people of Haiti.
Every society is built around its future prospects, and we are all fully aware that our children are our future. I’m afraid that I could hardly see this future for Haiti. I mean, these are the people that will govern and populate this country 15-20 years, yet they do not even dare to plan for tomorrow. I saw children without parents, without education or shelter, without medical assistants or medical tools. Most importantly, these children were lacking guidance and leadership. Throughout the week that I was there, I tried to visit the tent camps as much as I could; talking to people, building relationships and taking photos. I must admit these were the hardest pictures I had ever had to take. Why? Because when I looked these kids in their eyes, I could see it all. As adults, we often choose to act out or imitate certain emotions, but these innocent and pure eyes could tell me only the truth. They were full of hopelessness; eyes that have seen things we have never imaged. People say that you can the kind of life a person had by the wrinkles on their face. The children of Haiti will remain scarred for life by this tragedy. We can try to rebuild the houses, re-pave the roads, but no matter how hard we try, we will not be able to explain to these children why they deserved such injustice, and I don’t think we should. I believe my duty was to serve them through their daily routine, to show them that human virtues are not a myth, and that there are people in the world that care for them, even when they think no one does.
I am planning another trip (March 7th – 12th), and also (March 13th – 20th). I am hoping to put together a team that will join me in this endeavor. If you, or someone you know, have any medical background, or perhaps you are simply interested and/or willing to join the team, please contact me via e-mail (sasha at flosites dot com).
Here are some of the photos from the trip:
School in the tent camp:
At the tent camps: