July 6th, 2010 §
It’s 12 days that I am in Haiti now. This time I am not taking many pictures, but I am recording video. With the Canon 5D Mark II the quality of the videos is brilliant! So I’m interviewing people about the earthquake and will create a multimediapiece with these videos and the pictures I have taken in January and March.
A recent multimediapiece that I created can be seen here: http://www.vimeo.com/10980698 It’s about the new movement of Witchcraft in the Western World.
Haiti is hot, extremely hot. It has not been as hot in the last years. It makes me very tired very quickly. I am lacking energy because my body isn’t used to this heat and humidity. The people residing in tents go through a awful situation right now. It’s extremely hot, diseases are spreading, and when it starts raining everything gets extremely wet - yesterday we witnessed pouring rain for more than one hour.
I’m documenting the progress at MEVA, the school that Viv Timoun supports. It’s moving forward, which is great to see. Last Friday, the children of the school made an excursion to a little zoo. The saw a turtle and many rabbits. They spent the whole day ther, played, sang and had lots of fun.
Here are some pictures:
The children lining up
Looking at the turtle (in the corner right)
July 6th, 2010 §
June 30th, 2010 §
I arrived in Haiti last week on Thursday afternoon. It was a rainy day as most days are now - we are in the middle of the hurricane season right now. Natacha came to pick me up at the airport. It was so good to see her again! Haiti really feels like home now which is normal, since it’s my 7th trip here. This is why it hurts even more to see that since 5 months almost nothing has been done. The streets don’t look much better than in March. Here and there you see some people rebuilding, but this really is a minority. You can see that a little bit of rubble was cleared out but there still is so much left. Some people were put into relocation camps, (they are outside of Port-au-Prince, there is not much to do there) but the majority still lives in dreadful conditions in tent-cities. The next time it rains I want to go to such a tent-city to see and feel how the living conditions are.
I don’t think that the earthquake was a chance for Haiti at all and most journalists share my opinion.
On Friday I went to M.E.V.A., the school of Haiti Care that “viv Timoun” supports. This is one of the only places I have seen where real construction work is going on. Every day many workers are building up the new school. In 6 to 9 months it will be ready.
School officially started again in April everywhere in Port-au-Prince but most school buildings are not quite ready yet and many are running classes under tents. Natacha has turned her small orphanage (which wasn’t damaged) into the momentary school, fitting many more children than the building was designed to, and creating classrooms by hanging division curtains in the courtyard and hallways.
I will stay in Haiti for 3 more weeks and try to update my blog regularly. Please also check out the blog of my friend Alice, an Italian journalist: http://ayititales.wordpress.com/
March 24th, 2010 §
It’s been a while since I have been written the last time. It was a really hectic time – many things happened. I was working with a journalist almost every day. Her name is Alice, she is Italien, living in the US. She went back home today and Natacha went to the DR. So I am alone in this house, except from a few of Natachas friends and finally find some time to write on my blog again.
The situation in Haiti is still really hard for many people. Thousands and thousands of refugees live in tent-cities and are in danger of being killed during the next big rainy storm. The UN is building alternative refugee camps outside of the city, where they are building small houses that are hurricane stable. But the first camp which will be ready by the end of April will only have space for 3000-5000 people. There are more than a hundred thousands refugees. And how do you decide which people can move there and who can’t?
Last weekend when we came back from Leogane, we saw some areas that didn’t even have tents at all – only self built houses made out of fabrics, that are not waterproof at all. Every time it rains, these people can’t help but get completely wet. There is nowhere to go, nowhere to stand - to escape the rain. I talked to the leader of their “little village” and he told me that since the earthquake no group, no charity, not anyone came to see and help them. They were completely on their own.
photos ©alice speri
On Friday and Saturday I spent my time helping 4 families to rebuilt their stand on the market that they used to have before the earthquake. They were so happy and thankful, it was wonderful to see.
My time in Haiti is almost over, I am sad to leave, but happy to go back home and glad to come back here soon.
March 18th, 2010 §
A newborn baby in Cité Soleil
Sebastien, 15 years old in front of the ruins of his house.
March 16th, 2010 §
I suppose many are waiting to know what I decided to do with the donations I collected.
First of all; thank you all so much for every cent! Also to all people that bought my pictures for the good cause; thank you! We raised a big amount of money – I would have never imagined…
Christophe Ramjoie, Annabelle Mockel, Dannii Römer, Petra Johnen and me have created a new NGO called VIV TIMOUN (Creole for: live little child). We want to help children and families in Haiti.
We decided to partner with HAITI CARE.
Since I am going to Haiti for almost 3 years now and I always stayed with Natacha, the director of Haiti Care in Haiti, I have seen that they do really great work here. Haiti Care has a school and an orphanage and about 20 employees. Natacha is one of them. She is such a great personality, strong character and works so hard.
Michael Kaasch is the founder of Haiti Care – he is also an awesome German man. He and his wife work their ass off for their charity – and everything for free. Since they don’t know what they are going to do with the organization when they get older, VIV TIMOUN decided that we are going to be partners and help as much as we can.
We will use a big amount of the money for the rebuilding of the orphanage and school of Haiti Care. Then we will look for people that are willing to sponsor a child for a long time.
We will use the rest of the money for other projects. For example giving seed capitals to people that want to open small businesses or giving out tents to the people that still don’t have some and get really wet every time it starts raining. I will take care of these projects myself in the next days.
Demolishing MEVA, the school of Haiti Care.
Natachas protection against the dust
Natacha and a child in Carrefour Feuille
March 12th, 2010 §
March 11th, 2010 §
Horisto is 4 years old. When the earthquake happened he was together with Jaz, another 4 year old. The walls of the room they were in broke down and Jaz died on the knees of Horisto. Horisto only got slightly hurt on his head. 5 days he lied underneath the ruins with the dead Jaz on top of him. His hand touched Jaz body and this is the reason it got infected and had to be amputated. He lives in the general hospital for the moment. His mother died during the earthquake, so his father is with him. They don’t know where they want to go after his release from the hospital. When I met Horisto, he ran towards me, hugged and kissed me. He smiled and danced and he is one of the most cheerful kids I have ever met.
March 11th, 2010 §
Christelle Doralus is 5 years old. The roof of her house broke down during the earthquake and she lives now with her family in a shack in Carrefour.
March 10th, 2010 §
I’m sitting in Natachas room in the morning without electricity and no Internet. Once a day we use a generator to get electricity for 1 or 2 hours. I use this time to charge my computer, my batteries and my cellphone. This weekend I have spent in Jacmel. I met two women who are working for the Kindermissionswerk and I stayed with them. I found that the situation in Jacmel is much better than in Port-au-Prince. Most of the people live in real tent-cities, where NGOs bring food every day. In Port-au-Prince is still a lot of chaos. Some people have tents, other don’t and have built shacks in the middle of a public place, food isn’t coming to all people, … I think it’s really important that people start working again, selling their own products, so that they don’t rely on others to feed themselves. In the next days I want to help a few families by buying food that they can sell on the market. They should start their own business again. I’m still a little bit ill, so I took the day off yesterday to relax and do nothing. I have much more energy again. Today I will go to Carrefour to photograph another project of the Kindermissionswerk. Tomorrow I want to start taking some pictures for my own projects. On Thursday a journalist will come to sleep in Natachas house. I’m looking forward to this; I hope we can work together. This weekend 15 American doctors will come and stay here for one week. This will be really chaotic. The house is big, but has only 2 bathrooms… 2 bathrooms for 20 people…
Now it’s evening. I have spent the day in a school in Carrefour. On the schoolyard 600 displaced people reside in self built shacks or self built tents. On this picture you see family Francois - in the front is Nikensia, 4 years old. Their house crashed completely during the quake and they lost their father.