There is no sugar-coating the reality in Haiti. A year after the earthquake, one million people are living in camps. Many parts of the capital still lay in ruins and a growing cholera outbreak is expected to threaten thousands.
Despite the challenges, let me assure you that CARE has been spending your donations wisely. So far, we’ve spent just over half of the $45 million raised worldwide and all expenditures are monitored closely by an international committee, as well as by independent auditors.
We know that many of you want to know what the situation is like in Haiti today so we’ve put together a page to show you how we’re helping Haitians rebuild their lives, livelihoods and communities, for now and for the long run. There, you can watch a short video about our work in Haiti and find out how you also can join a conference call this Thursday, January 13, to learn even more about our work and next steps in Haiti.
CARE’s staff, which is more than 95 percent Haitian, remains committed to giving all community members, especially women and girls, a strong voice in the recovery process. Their commitment, knowledge and energy are the foundation of a better tomorrow for Haiti. CARE draws from these strengths when working with community volunteers and local partners to support lasting change.
This approach is evident in our actions during in the past year. For example, we have:
- Constructed nearly 1,000 “transitional shelters” that provide families protection against the elements and privacy, and we’re building more every day. These shelters can be used as the frame for permanent construction or give families a place to live while they build another home.
- Built 1,027 latrines in 51 camps, an unglamorous but lifesaving effort.
- Established mothers’ and children’s clubs, which serve multiple purposes. The clubs provide a much-needed sense of belonging, and the meetings raise awareness to help people maintain good hygiene and help prevent the spread of cholera.
Even with efforts like the ones we’re carrying out in Haiti, there are many obstacles to lasting change, including land tenure rights, lack of employment and economic opportunities and limited access to education. Nonetheless, CARE has helped nations recover from mega-disasters before, so we are confident that building a better Haiti is possible.
In 2011, CARE will continue to support families with transitional shelters and to serve people still living in tent camps with water and sanitary facilities. Our ultimate goal is to help people return and live in their communities with adequate access to basic needs and social services. We also plan on supplying schools with furniture and training, partnering with local medical clinics to ensure basic reproductive health services and scaling up our cholera prevention activities.
With renewed energy from the international community and the people of Haiti, 2011 can be one of great progress for all.
Thank you for all that you do for CARE and the people of Haiti.
Helene D. Gayle, MD, MPH
President and CEO, CARE
P.S. We invite you to learn more about CARE’s work in Haiti. Please join our discussion this Thursday, January 13, from 8:00-9:15 p.m EST. Dial 1-800-860-2442 and ask for the “CARE Haiti Call.” Steve Hollingworth, CARE’s chief operating officer and executive vice president of global operations and Maryle Gelin, CARE’s government relations advisor in Haiti, will lead the call.