Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association relief news update from Haiti.
The earthquake of January 12 has left massive need for shelter, food and medicine, including among those who sustained injuries. However, in addition to urgent physical needs, the psychological effect of the disaster has also taken a toll on the some 1.5 million people coping with trauma and homelessness, including children.
Upon knowing of the initial disaster, Supreme Master Ching Hai had quickly donated funds for emergency relief totaling US$60,000. Conveying her sorrow and prayers, she requested that our Association members go and help the most afflicted, especially the wounded in need of surgery, medical care and pain management.
Combined with financial contributions from our international Association members, the emergency assistance now totals US$269,000, an amount that could purchase US$9.6 million in items if bought in the United States, based on Haiti’s cost of living. Most of the relief team members are also covering their own travel and related expenses.
With professional experience in food preparation and medical treatment, including the vitally needed post-operative wound care, our Association’s relief team has been serving a large community of survivors in Carrefour, near Port-au-Prince.
At one of the city’s largest still-standing hospitals and nearby clinics, the relief team has been seeing to patients as well as delivering freshly prepared vegan meals for the patients, staff and hundreds of families in need.
Our Association members are bringing toys including balls, balloons, and stuffed animals, as well as drawing tools, to help ease the stress of the younger survivors as they live with injuries and difficult post-quake conditions.
Doctor team member (F): We’re going to leave in these stations some candies and toys.
VOICE: To better understand the children’s situation, our Association’s relief team member, who is also a physician, conversed with some of them.
Doctor team member (F): I saw one patient, a very pretty young woman about 14 years old. She only asked for very simple medicines. She said that she has not been sleeping, that she has a lot of headaches and back pain. Otherwise, she was healthy, she said. The whole time, I was observing her face;she had a very flat affect.
She wasn’t talkative; she only answered simple questions.
I kind of sensed something so I started talking to her. Then I asked her how is her family doing, if she has parents or family who have been affected from the earthquake.
Suddenly, she just sobbed. From one second that she was just talking nicely, calmly, and then when she remembered what happened to her family she just cried and cried and cried. She told me the whole family died except her.
That was a very, very sad day. Other than giving her the medicine that she needed, I spoke to her about our loving Master; the God love that we are bringing here is really from Master Ching Hai. And I explained that to her, and I think she was comforted.
Brother (age 10) of injured boy (M): His brother had fracture in head and in leg.
Doctor (F): This is your brother, right? How old are you?
Injured boy (M): Seven years old.
Doctor (F): Does your leg hurt?
Injured boy (M): It’s bad.
Doctor (F): Wow. You’re so brave! You’re very brave to…
Doctor (F): Were you scared when you had the surgery? (Yes.)
Are you still scared? (Shakes head)
Doctor (F): Oh, not scared anymore. You are very brave. (boy smiles) I hope that you will heal very soon, and you’re going run and walk again very soon.
Master Ching Hai has been giving a lot of medicine to the hospital to help the doctors to care for you. Translator referring to brother of injured boy (M): He said he would like to say a word.
(That’s good, okay!)
Brother of injured boy (M): Thank you.
VOICE: We are grateful to all nations, groups, and personnel for their dedicated service to the Haitian people. Our thanks as well to Supreme Master Ching Hai for her unconditional aid to the victims, and to our Association’s relief team for their sincere efforts. We continue to pray for the resilient island nation’s steady rebuilding as we look forward to the day when such events are minimized by humanity’s kinder actions on Earth.