I went to Haiti on the 15th of February, 2010 to see my family and to investigate the situation there.

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Thursday, 18 March 2010

The Real Damage

According to the Inter-American Development Bank, the estimated cost of the damage caused by the earthquake is between $8.1 and $13.9 billion.  Such a figure does tell us that indeed we do need to continue to invest strongly in the rebuilding effort.

As important as it is to focus on this effort, the real damage is one that carries no price tag.  Therefore, we should not only put our energy into the physical rebuilding of the infrastructure.  It is human nature to get to the obvious and sort it out, but often the obvious is not the deepest.  As important as they might be, society is not made up of its buildings.  People are the true resource of a country, people are the true future of a country, and that means people, no matter how able or disabled they might be.

During the interviews that I have held, it’s been brought to my attention that traditionally, the Haitian society has been severely lacking in its understanding and care for the disabled.  If the attitude and worldview in this matter is not widened then even the money spent on buildings will be wasted.  Now more than ever, Haiti will count in its population a great number of disabled members, both physical and mental.  The training and re-educating of both specialist caretakers and the general population’s attitude towards this new segment of the Haitian society is crucial for the country’s future success.

The following video, in a small way, indicates the level of the problem.  I hope it will be an eye opener and a thought provoker.