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Haiti's Hope in Trowbridge

by glynch — last modified 03 Mar, 2015 04:45 PM

Christian Aid exhibition celebrates rebirth in the Americas' poorest nation 5 years after earthquake disaster

Haiti's Hope in Trowbridge

Christian Aid-supported projects are helping Haitians made homeless by the earthquake to build new homes in safer areas.

Five years ago this week a catastrophic earthquake hit Haiti killing an estimated 220,000 people, injuring over 300,000 and causing over 1.5 million people to lose their homes.

Supporters from across the region rallied behind a Christian Aid appeal allowing the charity to direct £14 million towards the country’s reconstruction and reach 180,000 people affected by the disaster.

Next month from Saturday 7 to Friday 12 March, people across Wiltshire will have the opportunity to visit I Witness a free exhibition of artwork and photographs reflecting the hope and resilience of Haitians at the County Hall Atrium, Trowbridge

Following emergency relief work carried out by Christian Aid partner organisations the focus shifted to longer-term reconstruction, training masons to safely repair houses and building earthquake-resistant homes in affected communities.

Christian Aid partners have also helped over 32,000 people earn a living by providing seeds, tools and livestock for farmers, and giving loans and business training to traders. In other projects thousands of trees have been planted and children at more than 80 schools are provided with free milk.

Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, hit the headlines again in 2012, when Hurricane Sandy battered the country, but Christian Aid’s legacy manager Alison Linwood, who travelled to the country, spoke of the tremendous resolve of the people she met despite overwhelming odds. 

Haiti Milk BottlesAlison, who will speak at a special service at Wesley Road Methodist Church on Sunday 8 March, said: “The exhibition was put together after I travelled to Haiti with three UK Christian Aid supporters, who witnessed how legacies left to the charity were making a difference.  

“We met young people, supported by a Christian Aid partner in the slum district of Port-au-Prince.  Many had seen members of their community die, both as a consequence of the earthquake and the subsequent cholera outbreak.  They are now taking part in art therapy, a proven method to help young people recover from such devastating events.

“We are delighted to be bringing this new exhibition to Trowbridge five years after the earthquake struck. We hope lots of people will be inspired by the difference we can make together and take the opportunity to learn more about our work in Haiti.

“So often we only see or hear bad news from Haiti but this exhibition shows how Christian Aid is creating a lasting legacy of hope.

“Equally, visitors to the exhibition can see how gifts left in wills are transforming lives, and find out how they can leave their own lasting legacy.”

Everyone is welcome to see the exhibition at the Atrium, and attend the 4pm service when Alison will speak on Sunday 8 March.

Correction - originally, this article said this exhibition would run in February, when it is actually taking place from 7-12 March. The text has now been amended to reflect this.

Lower photo: 90% of Haiti's milk comes from abroad, and is unaffordable to the poorest, leaving children vulnerable to calcium deficiency diseases. Vetremed supplies 6,000 poor children annually with cheaper, locally produced, milk, generating income for Haitian farmers.

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