On March 26th, 2010 I made a four day visit to the earthquake devastated island of Haiti. I was hosted by the Sri Lankan Battalion of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Haiti. During my stay I visited hospitals, orphanages, and refugee camps in several cities. Over the years I have visited many natural disaster sites all around the world. It is not an exaggeration to say that Haiti was one of the worst places that I have witnessed in this regard.
Haiti remains one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world. Since this last earthquake, much of the country remains in ruins. The bodies of thousands of people who perished remain trapped under the rubble and have not yet been excavated for proper burial. 1.2 million people currently live in tents or what can loosely be called makeshift shelters. They still lack adequate sanitary facilities and proper protection from the elements. Everywhere there is so much grief and sadness as a result of the 230,000 people who died in the quake.
While there are huge long term challenges to recreating the most basic normal way of life in Haiti, I feel happy knowing that my visit has made a small difference in the lives of the affected Haitian people. I am most grateful to those who are supporting my efforts.