US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Remembering (and empowering) Haiti

By Elizabeth Lefebvre | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

As with most large-scale natural disasters, we often have a quick and genuine response to help those in need. Donations immediately pour out as images of victims and mass destruction fill the media. Inevitably, time passes, we start to forget, and new disasters come along which need our attention.

It’s been two years since a devastating earthquake killed more than 230,000 people in Haiti. And, though our attention has been driven elsewhere over the years, much work still needs to be done in repair the damages in Haiti.

Catholic Relief Services, which responded within hours to the quake, continues to work hard to provide temporary shelter, rebuild housing, and empower those whose lives were forever altered by the 30-second earthquake. CRS's efforts have been marked by an emphasis on helping put ordinary Haitains in charge of dignified and sustainable reconstruction efforts. Rather than coming into the country and feeding people and reconstructing sanitation systems, by working with communities (including local Catholic churches), the goal is to support lasting change beyond initial emergency services. One of the many projects CRS is working on is a complete rebuild of the oldest Catholic hospital in Haiti, St. Francois de Sales in Prot-au-Prince.

For a video documenting CRS’s progress in Haiti, click here.

Read our story from January 2011 about the role Haitian women have played in the rebuilding process. Don’t miss the accompanying slideshow of photos!