‘This is my best friend. When I stroke him, I don’t feel hungry any more.’
It is a year on from the earthquake in Haiti that claimed nearly 300,000 lives and dealt a blow to so many others who had to carry on in the middle of the devastation and poverty while carrying their injuries and grief.
Six months ago we gave 50 Haitian schoolchildren disposable cameras so they could take pictures of their ‘Favourite Things’. This was to enable the children to think about what was important to them, show how life has changed since the earthquake and to get a unique insight into their home lives. The results have been brilliant and the children loved receiving their photos back. Below is the link for our photo gallery.
When I look through the photos I am struck by how ordinary they are- pictures of favourite people and places and things. There are pictures of animals and play areas. They could be from the photo albums of children anywhere. Yet the captions that the children have given begin to tell the story of how these ordinary things are so extraordinary. These people are so important because so many other important people died. The pictures of food are so important because they remember hunger. The pictures of houses and places important because they might be new places of safety.
Louisiana, 13. ‘Everything has changed, my house has collapsed, but I still have my mum.’
Tearfund has been working in Haiti for thirty years through local organisations in education, HIV and AIDS awareness and various livelihood programmes. Since the earthquake, Tearfund has been directly responding to the immediate emergency needs of communities, providing shelter, water and basic necessities to those who lost everything.