Volunteering in Haiti

Idasa’s Nancy Dubosse (head of research; EGP) is in Haiti with Hands on Disaster Response, an organisation that specializes in rubble removal and other post-disaster needs. She is based in the city of Leogane. They have already cleared four homes that had collapsed. One belonged to the neighbourhood TV/radio repairman. The same day as the quake, he was robbed by looters. The only thing left of the house was the perimeter wall; the rest was rubble. Nancy continues …

“Another home we cleared belonged to a single woman with two children. Besides having a broken foot, she also had to live with the horror of the death of a neighbour’s child, who had come over to play and never made it back home.

“Although they have cleared away the physical evidence of the quake, they can’t offer anything beyond that. These families have no shelter, no schools to send their children, no work.

“Upon seeing a group of ‘whites’, one old man asked me for money to buy coffee. When I explained that we are volunteers, who have left our families, homes and jobs to come and assist, he apologized, adding that it should be him offering us the coffee. The next day, that same gentleman sent his son with a wheelbarrow full of coconuts, and we had a lovely break.”

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2 Responses

  1. These are times when I truly respect and honor people that are willing to give something without expecting anything in return. Nancy, you are giving the people of Leogane an amazing gift. I wish you and Hands on Disaster Response only the very best and good luck!

    Oliver Holmes’ poem comes to mind, “What lies behind us and what lies before us, are tiny matters compared to what lies within us”.

  2. […] Nancy’s first post here. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Volunteering in Haiti#Haiti Update from ActionAid […]

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