The following article re-posted from liveshot.blogs.foxnews.com illustrates how non-profits faced with dwindling funds and daunting emotional needs are forced to find creative ways of keeping their promises to the people depending on them.
Among the shrinking list of remaining aid groups, Real Medicine has stayed and is determined to stay until, quite simply, we are not needed anymore.
With so many children who have yet to stand since the quake, that time is not now. The more people who help, the more we can do. (Learn more about how you can help us create a locally based, sustainable network of whole-person care for Haiti: RMF Haiti Initiatives page
Haiti out of Sight, Not out of Mind
by: Jonathan Serrie
While the earthquake in Haiti may have faded from the headlines, international relief organizations continue their work — often finding creative ways to overcome shrinking funds and difficult logistics.
“So many people have forgotten about Haiti, and we’re still going,” said Christina Porter, program director for Childspring International.
The small, faith-based medical charity continues to rely on a scrappy network of small aircraft pilots to deliver relief supplies to remote areas of Haiti (see my related blog. But for areas with accessible ports, Childspring has turned to an unusual method of delivering supplies in bulk: a two-masted sailing ship.
As I write this blog, the schooner Halie & Matthew is en route to Haiti with nearly 45 thousand pounds of food and medical equipment on board.
Capt. Jared Talarski, who has already delivered 10 thousand pounds of relief supplies to Haiti for other non-profits aboard the schooner Liberty, said he decided to charter the larger vessel after its owners agreed to rent out the Halie & Matthew at a nominal cost to cover dock fees, food and other basic expenses.
The delivery of supplies is far from the only challenge for relief workers in Haiti. There is also the human element and raw emotions.
Atlanta plastic surgeon Alan Larsen, who volunteered in Haiti last month, choked up as he described treating Roovens Monchil, an 11-year-old earthquake victim whose crushed leg had become seriously infected.
“Even though he had a big problem — and his problem was huge — when I brought him crayons and paper, he just had this incredible big smile,” Larsen said.
Holly Frew, communications manager for MedShare, an Atlanta-based non-profit, shot the video that appears at the bottom of this blog as the young boy was loaded into the back of an SUV and eventually transferred to the USNS Comfort, a hospital ship.
Frew and Larsen lost contact with the boy. They say US privacy rules and military protocols made it difficult to get information on his status.
But shortly after Frew and Larsen returned home, they discovered Roovens had been transfered to a nearby hospital, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite. Local station WAGA (FOX5) covered their happy reunion.
“It was really wonderful,” Larsen said. “I walked in the room and almost didn’t even believe it was him. His leg was completely closed and he was sitting up in bed. There was a walker on the side of the bed. So, obviously he was learning to walk again and his dad was at his side. I never saw his dad leave his side.”
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