Haiti: “you are not alone”

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24 tons of food to tell the children of Haiti: “you are not alone”.

In the earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010, 300 children died, helped by the association Acoger et Compartir. Now, it has rebuilt the school and has sent 24,000 kilos of solidarity to the 700 children who today populate the school again.

A month before that fateful January 12, 2010, the Acoger y Compartir association – presided over by the Redemptorist priest José Miguel de Haro, parish priest of the Santísimo Redentor in Madrid – had just inaugurated the extension of the San Gerardo school, located in Port-au-Prince (Haiti). But on that day the earth tempered and brought everything down. “About 300 children died, all of whom were attending classes in the afternoon. It was very hard,” says De Haro to Alfa and Omega.

From then on, all the work of the association and the Redemptorists involved focused on rebuilding the schools. And they did so in Chateau, Fonfrede, Hinche, Port-au-Prince and Jérémie thanks to the solidarity of many people. “Even Real Madrid helped us, and many people even gave us what they needed. Not a penny was lost”.

The Redemptorist remembers especially the day they opened the new San Gerardo School. “I was impressed by an old man who, on his way to his shack, stopped in front of the school and, for no apparent reason, began to applaud. Today, the centre is attended by about seven hundred children.

With the schools back up and running, “the problem now is, in addition to insecurity, kidnapping and violence, there is a lot of difficulty with the issue of food,” explains the president of Ayudar y Compartir. In this context, the association fills and sends a container with food to the country once or twice a year.

The last one left a month ago for the Caribbean country and arrived last week. But once on land “we didn’t know if we could get it out of the port for distribution”, although it has finally been possible. “Now we have just begun to distribute the contents,” assures José Miguel de Haro. “There is a lot of looting, so we have to empty the container soon. What we have done is to hire several vans and move the contents secretly. If people knew that food was in them, they would probably not reach their destination”.

Specifically, the container contains twenty-four thousand kilos of food: 4,320 kilos of chickpeas, 2,160 kilos of peas, 4,320 kilos of lentils, 6,480 kilos of rice, 1,400 kilos of macaroni, 1,680 kilos of noodles and 4,000 kilos of spaghetti. Besides, there are fifty thousand masks and four hundred litres of gel. All this is distributed in bags and given to the children to take home. “We know that this is not the solution, but it allows us to say ‘you are not alone’ and to shout ‘it is time for things to change in that country for the good of the poor'”, concludes the Redemptorist priest José Miguel de Haro.

(source: alfayomega.es – 4 Dec. 2020)

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