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Bringing Aid to a Young Mother in Haiti

Posted on: Friday, February 26, 2010

Keywords: Economic Justice, Environmental Justice, Haiti, Latin America and Caribbean, Emergency Relief, Earthquake

MADRE is working with the Feminist Solidarity Camp (a international network of women's rights organizations) to distribute supplies to women, children and families in Haiti.

Our teams provided tents and plastic roofing to Dr. Pape of GHESKIO so that he could set up a temporary clinic. GHESKIO has been working for over twenty years to provide free comprehensive care to HIV/AIDS patients in Port-au-Prince. The buildings were destroyed during the earthquake, but immediately following the construction of the temporary clinic, over 5,000 people set up camp around it. This increased the clinic's visibility and caused multiple international aid agencies to offer help.

Our partner through the Feminist Solidarity Camp, Maria Suarez of FIRE, told us the story of one young woman our teams were able to help.

"One day, we received a call from Martín who was at her office in the center of Port-au-Prince. She was desperate for us to come help. A woman had just delivered her first baby on a sidewalk in the middle of town. The woman was completely helpless, paralyzed by a cast that covered more than half of her body.

We immediately set out with a package that included disposable diapers, handy wipes, hand sanitizer, baby clothing, milk, water bottles, almond and chocolate bars for the mother, a lantern, a sleeping bag, and plastic sheets to improvise a temporary roof until we could get a tent.

The community set up an improvised camp around Crista by the time we returned with a tent. It was truly incredible. In the middle of it all, there was Carlitos, new-born, smiling and beautiful. And next to him was his young mother, still immoble in her cast, but smiling. Her young - and very terrified - husband Rigo was next to Crista, doing his best to take care of her and their new baby.

We spoke with the people camped out around them, promising to come back with more supplies for the many women, men and babies living there. We returned as quickly as we could with tents, clothes and other supplies for the small community.

On our return visit, Crista informed us that she hadn't had any care after getting the cast put on (she had broken a leg and a hip bone during the earthquake). We called Dr. Pape from GHESKIO who immediately came in an ambulance to pick up Crista. Dr. Pape informs us that Crista needed to undergo surgery for her hip, but that she is currently doing extremely well." 


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