Aid  amounting to 100,000 dollars for  210  families in Haiti.

 

The Greek Caravan of  Solidarity transported tents, toys and money in  its "luggage", altogether  a total of  100,000  dollars for 210  families in Haiti.

 

In the capital city of  Port-au-Prince, the smell of garbage and  the remains of 200,000 corpses left in an   advanced state of decay under the rubble was overpowering. The children are the biggest victims of this wretchedness. After the earthquake, many children have disappeared,  and there are many who believe that  a huge  market  in the sale of human organs is going on.

 

greek caravan programme of Haiti 

 

15,000 kms separate   Greece from the distant  and fragile country of Haiti. A mission from  the  Greek Caravan of  Solidarity travelled there almost four months after the catastrophic  earthquake of the 12th January.

It took approximately that long  to complete the Caravan's programme of economic adoption, which began immediately after the disaster. The earthquake had  literally wiped out  the devastated and abandoned west  part of the island of Hispaniola  in the Caribbean.

 

Two hundred and ten Greek  families   contributed 100,000 dollars  for purpose of supporting  the corresponding number  of 210 famillies in Haiti.

 

Organization of the  programme  began  five days after the earthquake, when Dimitris Mognie, a doctor and member of the Greek Caravan, arrived in Port-au-Prince together with other doctors, in order  to  set up an outdoor clinic to help the casualties.

“The reality here is tough”, Mr. Mognie warned us on meeting us  at the airport. He had enormous  experience having carried out over two hundred missions in war zones and in areas that had been hit by natural  disasters.

 

In collaboration with a local humanitarian organization “The Foundation for Lost Children” and its President, Floran Green, they tried, amidst  the chaos, to put together  lists of families who would be given aid. A necessary prerequisite for  assistance was to have had one’s  house destroyed  and  for one  parent to have  died.

A  particularly difficult procedure if one bears in mind  that 85% of Port-au-Prince has been razed to  the ground  and complete  anarchy prevailed.

The word chaos does not begin to describe  the reality of a country which has been completely devastated and where absolutely nothing was functioning. "I have never before set eyes on people living  under such  conditions," said  Kostas Papadigenopoulos in a shocked voice.

"We have carried out difficult and dangerous missions over the last 20 years of our operations but the reality in Haiti is beyond  belief”.

 

But  you close your eyes,  open them again, and the images are even more distressing  as we move further  into Port-au-Prince. People, pigs, and skeletal dogs wandering  around in the mud and rubble  searching  for water or maybe even a scrap  of food.  Eventually  the cameras stop, the lights go off, but the tragedy continues.

 

The Greek Caravan of  Solidarity tries, in those difficult moments to offer its presence. “Certainly the problems are  not solved that way,  but at least we help as many as we can," remarks Mr.  Papadigenopoulos.

Internationally,  another  NGO  does not exist which  gives   money  directly into the hands of the beneficiary.  But this way ensures  that the help  will be received and  not go  astray.

 

 The result was that a measure of optimism was restored for  a little;  optimism on the faces of the 210 families that received  300 dollars, an  amount  of economic help offered by the corresponding  number  of  Greek families. The money was  a godsend for  the Haitians especially when  coming  from a country that  nobody had heard of.

 

The biggest victims are the children who see their parents – those who still  have them - to fight for a plate of food. The children who often never know a father, and who,  from one moment to the next ,are in dangerous of falling  victim  to illegal  adoption, or even to become  victims of  organ trafficking.

 

If the international community does not decide to actively help, then for these  people this will  be just  the beginning.

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