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Feb-23-2010 17:25printcommentsVideo

Haiti Resettlement and Life in a Remote Village

An entire community that lost everything in Port-au-Prince is resettling in a village about 40 to 50 km outside the capital. MINUSTAH

Refugees in Haiti
Photo/Video courtesy: UN/MINUSTAH

(PORT-AU-PRINCE / SALEM) - One week after the devastating earthquake hit Haiti, a community of about 3,000 moved to this site in Archaie, some 30 miles outside of Port-au-Prince. Living among the rubble was too dangerous and they have decided to take a chance in this remote village.

The land, about two hectares, is owned by their church and was given to them for temporary use.

Lionel Jean Joseph is a Church Pastor: ”We have decided to bring them here for a moral healing but also for their physical health because they were dehydrated. They have been here for about five weeks; we live together like brothers and sisters.”

Since they came a month ago, they have been managing on their own, dividing duties and responsibilities among themselves. Everyone has to contribute for the benefit of the community.

People like community member Edelle Charlot: ”We bring water; we cook food, and wash the dishes. This is how we can contribute to the community. We have nothing else to give."

Cooking for so many people is a difficult task that falls on to women. Most men spend their days at work or scouting for one. Except for a small donation in food from a NGO from the Dominican Republic, the community hasn’t received any humanitarian aid.

The sleeping quarters are basic, mostly a small tent per family.

While the Haitian authorities have postponed the reopening of schools, a group of teachers have come up with a plan to keep pupils learning. In Archaie, students attend classes in the open five hours a day, Monday to Friday. Although they lack adequate space or tools, their teachers deem important to continue educating their students.

Monette Fils, is a teacher: ”We talk about survival, about food and shelter, but education should not be ignored either. Two days after the earthquake, a group of us teachers got together and had put together a post-seism education program.”

Parents are hoping to bring their families back home one day. Until that is possible, they are working for their future as best as they can.

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Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. You can send Tim an email at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com




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