First Person

Amedee Marescot: Better days will come for Haitians

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Port-au-Prince lies in ruins following Tuesday's earthquake. Reuters/Eduardo Munoz, courtesy
Port-au-Prince lies in ruins following Tuesday's earthquake. Reuters/Eduardo Munoz, courtesy

Amedee Marescot, an Oxfam business manager based in Port-au-Prince, was among the untold numbers of people who lost their lives in the massive earthquake that leveled much of the Haitian capital Tuesday.

At Oxfam, we extend our deepest sympathies to his family. For us, the death of a colleague, particularly one as passionate about his work as Amedee, makes all too real the sorrow and enormous suffering now gripping this beleaguered country.

For Dawit Beyene, a deputy director of humanitarian response based in Boston, Amedee’s loss is acute. A deep friendship bound the two. Here are Dawit’s thoughts:

Dawit Beyene
Dawit Beyene. Photo by Oxfam America.

Amedee was not only a colleague, but a close friend during my 11-month deployment in Haiti in 2004-05.   For Amedee, working for Oxfam was not a career, but a mission that he cherished and worked so hard for, always believing and with the conviction that better days would come for all Haitians.  Yes, Amedee’s position was “business manager”, but I remember the number of emergency assessment missions he led and conducted, because for him, there was no way he would sit in the office as the most senior accountant and finance person and do his finances while this Haitian town is under water or that other one buried under a mud-slide!!  And this was exactly what happened in Haiti in the spring of 2004 in Mapou, and fall of the same year in Gonaive.  Amedee was at the forefront during the rapid assessment phase (i.e. first 72 hours).

As a person, Amedee was one of the most humble, patient and smiling friends I ever had.  His smile is vividly right in front of me as I write this.  I have known no one who was always ready and willing to help colleagues, friends and people he hardly knew more than Amedee was.  It’s indeed a great loss not only to his family, but to anyone who ever met this incredible human being.

My sincere condolences, from the very bottom of my heart, to his surviving wife, children (one of whom is only a bit older than a year), all of Oxfam Haiti staff (which Amedee sincerely considered his other family) and his colleagues and friends at Oxfam GB.

We lost a close friend, and he will be greatly missed!! Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Google+