Four years after the terrible earthquake that devastated Haiti, life is still difficult for the population of the island.
Sant'Egidio, which immediately intervened with emergency aid, has never abandoned the Haitians, in particular the children and the elderly that were left homeless.
After four years, let us go back and visit the beautiful house where 16 children that had lost everything with the earthquake live, like in a family. And the village where the elderly live together thanks to a system of "long-distance adoptions" by the Italian elderly.
The children’s Family Home
The "Children's Home of the Sant'Egidio Community", opened a few months after the earthquake, accomodates 16 children aged 4 to 10 years old. The house wants to be a welcoming place, where to find the love needed to heal the wounds of the past and the energy to grow and face the future. Everyone goes to school (the youngest girl to the kindergarten). They are in good health: when they arrived, several of them were malnourished and various diseases were faced.
Long-distance adoptions of the elderly in Haiti
Since 2003, the elders of "Long Live the Elderly" of different districts of Rome and many Italian cities have adopted, at long distance, their peers that live in a house of hospitality, made in the city of Port-au-Prince in Haiti by Maurizio Barcaro, a lay missionary.
Many elderly people that lived on the street and did not have any kind of support were welcomed in this house. The house has been a refuge for them and the possibility to survive.
With the terrible earthquake of January 2010, also the home that housed the elderly was heavily damaged and so it was necessary to rebuild a new one.
The elders of "Long Live the Elderly" immediately began collections of various kinds of support to send to their friends who had come suddenly to lack everything. It was thus possible to rebuild, in a short time, small and comfortable houses for two or four people.
"Long Live the Elderly" continues long-distance adoptions for all the elders that live in this new home
Long-distance adoption of children
An active program for nearly a decade that found greater impetus after the earthquake is that of long-distance adoptions to ensure primary and secondary education to a group of children in Port-au-Prince at the Lakay Mwen School.