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January 30 2010

“We are distributing aid in the poorest areas of Port au Prince.” The sorrow and hopes of Haiti, from the voices of the people of the Community of Sant'Egidio engaged in rescue work.

 
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We publish the account of the activities of the delegation of the Community of Sant'Egidio in Haiti which, together with the Haitian Communities, is in these days engaged in a widespread distribution of daily essential items:

"The city is truly badly damaged by the earthquake, there is so much destruction. People try to resume to normal life, but the many stories of suffering and death make it difficult. Without water and light, life becomes difficult. The dead are many, people speak of over 150,000. The Community of Sant'Egidio in Haiti has also been deeply affected: two sisters of the Community, Daphney and Micheline, two young women of 25 years, were killed together with a young seminarian Adenor, linked to the Community.

The children of The School of Peace have been severely affected: their homes are destroyed, and the wherabouts of many of them are unknown because their families sought refuge in the large tent-camps.

Also the elderly that the Community adopted long-distance are almost all homeless. Thousands and thousands of people live together, outdoors, with the precarious and poor health conditions that this entails, with little water and no latrines. The children, who are always outdoors, are exposed to all kinds of danger.   

Food is scarce and does not seem that aid is very effective in reaching the poorest places.

We managed to fill two large trucks with food for about 2,500 people, sacks of rice, beans, sugar, condensed milk, tuna, salami, water, oil, soup, soap, toothpaste and more.

The distribution is very important because people are desperate, and more time passes the more the situation becomes difficult. 

The Community of Sant'Egidio in Haiti has been very active inthis period, trying to identify the places where the aid was most needed. So we went where no-one had arrived yet. To date we have distributed aid to some 1,800 people and we will continue to bring help elsewhere.

The places where we did the distributions are: Delmas (sector 33), Canapé-Vert, Carrefour, Christ-Roi. The people who need help are many. At the end of week the Community will also organize parties with the children in these neighborhoods to bring them some joy.

People were very affectionate and grateful to the Community. For them it is a hope, a real closeness. Compared to what is said of this situation of despair that breeds violence, we saw the desperation to get some food, but not violence. The people treated us very respectfully, and at the end of the distributions filled us with hugs and applause. The pain of the people here is great, but as a Community we have a dream of love for their lives.

We will continue to work so that Haiti may be comforted, and so that the love and consolation of the Lord may reach the lives of this people.

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