Give a child a better chance at life than what they have now
My dad had his trip planned for Haiti. I had been laid off from my job for 11 months. , when I decided I wanted and needed to go with him. What better way to spend time with my Dad. I was going to make the most of my layoff with volunteering and helping those who needed it most. Our group was going to Haiti to help build schools...help students with their English and to teach first aid for those living in the tent camps. I had no idea what to expect when we arrived......as we waited and loaded our luggage on the tap-taps, we stood by a fence that seperated us from the Haitians. A woman came up to me from the other side, holding a baby. All she said was..."no food...no food". I didn't know what to do...the fence line was now full of Haitians asking for money. We were told not to give money....it broke my heart and I eventually broke down crying. My dad took me and moved me away to a different area and we eventually left for our compound where we would be staying for the week. Driving through Port a Prince was very surreal......there were potholes bigger than anyone who has ever driven the roads in Michigan had seen, and they were like that before the earthquake. Garbage was piled up everywhere along the roads.....the stench was unimaginable. As we continued along the way I would see children dressed in school uniforms......big brother holding his little sisters hand as they walked......children smiling and laughing. These children with the uniforms are those whose parents somehow find a way to make it possible they receive an education. A few days later, I had the chance to go to one of the camps with fellow volunteer Charlie... another lawyer he knew was visiting from Boston, Brian works for Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti......www.ijdh.org their mission is to strive to work with the people of Haiti in their non-violent struggle for the consolidation of constitutional democracy, justice and human rights. As we pulled into the camp and got out of the vehicle, I was quickly surrounded by about 15 children. As I started taking photos, the crowd of children grew. They loved seeing their face on my cameras LCD after I took their photo.....how I wish their was a portable printer to give them their picture. These children didn't know how bad they had it...because that's all they have known....no food, no clean water, no medical attention. The children followed me as we walked through the camp, they held my hands...put their little hands into my pockets, almost pulling my pants down. This one child was playing with an empty roll on deodorant bottle for a toy. As we left the camp, I knew at that moment that this is something I want to do.....something I need to do. What better way for me as a single woman, (as money will allow) to travel to new places in the world, take beautiful and not so beautiful photographs and to help any way I can. I can't change the world overnight, but with others....nothing is impossible. I hope to be able to go to the Philippines or Egypt in 2012 and help there.....and I hope my Dad will be right there with me.
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