Posted by: posthaiti | January 18, 2010

leogane hit the worst, needs big help

it is with some level of fatigue that i write this, due in part to not being able to keep up with all the news, partly to not being able to continuously process it.

news that has made me feel even more like i was hit by a truck: leogane, the town where i stayed for a week only a few weeks ago, is nearly completely destroyed, with up to 90 percent of its buildings leveled and 20,000-30,000 estimated dead. according to news reports and what yoleine has heard from friends and family in leogane, here’s what’s been hit:

the house i lived in;
the orphanage, home to 1,000s of kids;
the hospital st. croix, which is the only hospital in town;
the awesome, and immense, church right up the street from the house where i was staying;
and i’m sure the list goes on.

there are still only a handful of mainstream media outlets that even mention leogane, including ABC, WSJ, and BBC (a very condemning article, of both the UN and the aid response in general to places outside PAP), which i guess is better than nothing. this one at the Boston Globe, which focuses on a survivor and aid worker, Kara Telesmanick, who has been living in leogane for three years, is touching, informative, and points to practical ways we can help (=donate to the children’s nutrition program of haiti).

i’m not sure how i stumbled upon this excellent, if not tear-jerking, flickr stream of post-quake pics of the city of leogane from a user named carel pedre. i can only hope that the friends i made are safe, unharmed, and away from looting.

in terms of what we can do. donate to the CNP, where kara works. according to their web site, here’s what they need and are doing:

We ask for your financial help in providing medication, food, water, and other essential services for the people in the community of Leogane. While rescue and relief efforts have been focused in Port-au-Prince, our city of Leogane, with 50, 000 souls, has been overlooked.. We will partner with Save the Children and other organizations experienced with severe natural disasters to create an effective recovery program. This week, an emergency medical team, led by Dr. Chris Buresh, a member of the CNP advisory council, will arrive in Leogane to provide emergency medical care with a small field hospital.

yoleine, the woman i lived with and who runs a nonprofit organization called neges foundation, is accepting donations by way of money, food, or physical assistance; she is planning a first trip to leogane in february, so if you want to go with her (you’ll have to buy your own fare, and that’s assuming commercial flights are running by then), be in touch via neges’ web site or email yoleine directly at pyo1@aol.com. and, more on neges’ plans, from its web site:

We, at Neges Foundation Inc, are planning to take a delegation to Haiti as early as February 2010. Our plan is to go set up a shelter for children in Leogane where we can provide them with a place to sleep, a hotmeal and basic medical care until they can relocate their families.

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