IOCC Delivers Essential Relief
|Volume 13, No. 1
to Haitian Quake Survivors
Port-au-Prince, Haiti (IOCC) Twenty-nine-year old Tamara, an expectant mother, had been trapped in her collapsed apartment building for 10 hours before her husband, Peterson, was able to pull her out of the rubble. Her leg was crushed, her four-year-old son had died in the collapsed building, and she was about to deliver a baby. After doctors at King's Hospital saved her leg, Tamara was wheeled out into an open-air triage area where she bravely went into labor and gave birth to a baby girl.
Anne Blaufus, a nurse attending Tamara, held the newborn before she had to return to the world of operations and amputations. "I told Tamara that this is life, this is hope." Tamara named the child, Jesula, which means "Jesus there."
Since the January 12 earthquake struck Haiti, IOCC has delivered over $3 million in humanitarian aid to the impoverished island nation, including $2.2 million of medicines and hospital supplies, in cooperation with Medical Teams International (MTI) that has benefitted thousands of patients like Tamara. IOCC's relief work in Haiti has also included the delivery of water purification and sanitation equipment, wheelchairs and crutches, tents and shelter materials, hygiene kits, fuel, food, blankets and mattresses.
Orthodox Christians in North America participated in IOCC's aid to Haiti by making generous donations, including assembling and collecting tens of thousands of hygiene kits. The kits are being used to assist Haiti's survivors and will also be available for use in response to disasters throughout the world. "This tragedy has been monumental for Haiti claiming nearly 230,000 lives," said IOCC Executive Director Constantine M. Triantafilou. "We will continue to explore other opportunities to help the Haitian people begin the hard work now of rebuilding their nation."
IOCC's work continues in Haiti in cooperation with ACT Alliance members, Haitian Orthodox churches, and other humanitarian partners. Recently, IOCC dispatched a specialist to Haiti who will be in the country for an extended period of time in order to identify long-term needs and recommend projects that lead to recovery and sustainability.