Haiti posts

Letters>> Earthquake ÔÇó haiti

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

“It is like we are bobbing along on the waves of the ocean, waiting to be saved,” reads one letter.

In the last two weeks of September, thousands of Haitians displaced by earthquake have vented their concerns, depositing impassioned pleas for help in new suggestion boxes at camps in the disaster zone.

imageWhen the International Organization for Migration added the boxes, it did not expect to tap into a well of pent-up emotions. “I anticipated a few cranky letters,” said Leo-nard Doyle, who handles communications for the organisation in Haiti. “But to my absolute, blowme- down surprise, we got 700 letters in three days— real individualised expressions of suffering that give a human face to this tragedy.”

In some cases, the letters contain a breathless litany of miseries, strung together by commas: “I feel discouraged, I don’t sleep comfortably, I gave birth six months ago, the baby died, I have six other children, they don’t have father, I don’t have work, my tarp is torn, rain panics me, my house was crushed,” wrote Marie Jean. Several writers sent terse wishlists on self-designed forms while others tweaked the truth.

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