"Haiti´s real problem is neither the earthquake nor the cholera; the real problem is poverty and the absence of a State"

After 14 months of the terrible earthquake that hit  Puerto Príncipe, the rains, cholera and the unstable political context are leading Haiti into an extremely vulnerable situation. "In spite of it, and incredible as it may seem, people in the refugee camps do not live worse than before...thanks to the work of NGOs and other local organizations, a great part of the population has access to drinking water, food and health aid, which they did not have before the catastrophe".  

 

Because, according to Luis Arancibia, Entreculturas Deputy Director who is just back from Haiti, " Haiti´s real problem is neither the earthquake nor the cholera; the real problem is poverty and the absence of a State" two situations that are preventing reconstruction works. "The fact that the Presidential Palace continues to be in ruins, a year after, is a clear symbol of how things stand", he says.  

As far as we can, Entreculturas has worked this year to help Haitians return to normal life, both psychologically and economically helping to generate small sources of income. For this purpose we have started a  5 year programme, together with Fe y Alegría and the Jesuit Refugee Service in order to guarantee access to a quality education for millions of Haitians to enable them to face their future and become agents for social change in their country. We have mobilized  2.693.500 Euros,  out of which more than  977.300 have already being used to organize education activities at the refugee camps, building classrooms, start technical training programmes and teacher training.

"Although Haiti´s reality is very hard, I share the people's and our team´s enthousiasm" says Luis, " no doubt, Haitians have to take the lead, the future has to come from them".  Pilar and Olga are the two staff members sent by Entreculturas to support the teams. They tell us about their work:

My name is  Pilar López-Dafonte, I have a Law Degree and specialization in International Human Aid. I am here in Haiti, with Entreculturas since last year working at Foi et Joie Haiti (Fe y Alegría – Haiti), with 32 Haitian professionals with whom I share their motivation to improve their life conditions. For this purpose we work to enable access to a quality education to offer people opportunities to develop their own country. We  also work in social promotion to encourage community development since we consider it essential for progress.

My name is  Olga Martínez Julve and I work at  Entreculturas since last November. I arrived at Puerto Principe on January 22, where I will work  for the next two years with the Jesuit Refugee Service, one of the main partners of Entreculturas in Haiti together with Fe y Alegría. My task is to help identify projects  in order to accompany and improve life conditions for thousands of displaced people who still live in the seven camps in Puerto Principe where the JRS works. For me it is both a professional and personal challenge in which I very much hope to make my small contribution.

 

>> More information: Our program of action in Haiti