Angela Bruce Raeburn is Oxfam America’s senior policy adviser for humanitarian response in Haiti. Last month, she visited the largest “spontaneous settlement” in Port-au-Prince.
Located at the end of a winding road in the posh part of town, past the home of the US Ambassador to Haiti and the tennis courts, sits a golf course. It is the site of a make-shift camp plastered with the big letters naming the large aid agencies that have provided assistance here since the earthquake.
It has also been the home of approximately 16,000 men, women, and children since January 2010 when the quake decimated the already fragile and tenuous lives they once led.
Romelus Raynald, the coordinator of water, sanitation, and hygiene promotion activities at the camp, noted: “The people come to my office and they tell me their stories. They want work, they want food, and they want their kids to go to school.”
Raynald is an impressive, soft-spoken man whose face is an open book of sadness and details about the camp and its residents. He says that the camp population has fallen from about 9,000 families to roughly 4,500 families. “Many have returned to their homes, others have found alternative homes and temporary shelters.”
“But those who are left behind truly have no place to go. “There has not been a lot offered by anyone to help. It is really Sean who has helped us.” Read the rest of this entry »