Haiti one year later: starting again from children. This is the message that the Community of Sant'Egidio, whis is present in this Caribbean island with three groups of young people in Port-au-Prince, Cap-Haitien and Anse-à-Veau, launched on the anniversary of that tragic 12 January 2010.
The humanitarian catastrophe seemed to indicate, at the end of a decade of conflict, the first of the new century, the need for a shift under the sign of solidarity in global politics. For this reason, throughout the past twelve months, Sant'Egidio has led in Haiti a real action of material, human and moral reconstruction, especially among young people and children.
Among the signs of rebirth, a home community for twelve children, three to five years, whose families, with the earthquake, had lost their homes. At the entrance in the new structure the children had worrying symptoms of malnutrition. Six of them are orphaned by both parents, but almost everyone has lost one. The House is run in collaboration with the Sisters of "Notre-Dame Marie", is the port from which to start a different life. It is an effective antidote to avoid becoming street children, hardship, misery and exploitation.
In this perspective, another sign of the revival are the Schools of Peace, that almost every afternoon in the three cities of the island where the Community is present, collect two hundred children in marginal and violent neighborhoods, such as La Saline in the capital. There is where they learn not only to study but to live together and respect each other.
This year, there have been tensions and controversies in Haiti, also hit by severe cholera outbreak. The intervention of the Community of Sant'Egidio is the beginning of a convincing answer to the country's future, even for the style in which it happened. The strength is the Haitians themselves. They are, especially the young, those who have taken charge of aid to the population. The many of distributions of food, clothing, medicines Sant'Egidio has organized since the early days after the devastation of the earthquake took place in an atmosphere of calm and almost festive, with no armed clashes or riots.
In a crescendo of accusations against NGOs for interference or inefficiency or against public institutions, for having diverted the funds for electoral purposes, the method of the Sant'Egidio based on complete gratuitousness is a model to really reconstruct the future of the ill-fated Latin American country.