Today marks six months and one day after a violent earthquake devastated Haiti — and exactly six months after the non-profit organization Healing Hands for Haiti (HHH) — which provides rehabilitation clinical services and education in Haiti — began rebuilding its own heavily damaged operations.
Convene traveled to Port-au-Prince in March, with PCMA member Jean Tracy, a HHH former board member and volunteer, to chronicle the organization’s work. HHH volunteer doctors, physical therapists, and others worked long, physically and emotionally draining days as they divided their time between providing clinical care to earthquake victims and Haitian orphans, and to getting Healing Hands back on its feet.
At the six-month mark, there is no shortage of stories in the media measuring how far recovery efforts have — and haven’t — come. There are far too many people suffering in Haiti today, and much work to be done. But there is also reason to feel hopeful, including about Healing Hands’ progress. From its directors:
The process of redeveloping Healing Hands for Haiti began the day after the earthquake of January 12 of this year. Five months later, we are almost back to full service. A new prosthetic fabrication and physical therapy facility at rented quarters in Port au Prince, developed in partnership with Handicap International, has fitted and cared for hundreds of pre- and post- earthquake amputees and disabled patients. Demolition of destroyed buildings at our main campus is almost finished. Our emergency and rehab medicine tent clinic at the main site has been closed in anticipation of the opening of a new, rented facility to house a modern clinic, physical and occupational therapy rooms, classrooms and offices. We have increased our deployment of rehabilitation medical teams on a weekly rotation basis to hospitals, clinics and orphanages throughout Haiti. Among our special charges are the 150 spinal cord-injured, who suffered among the most devastating injuries in the earthquake.
The photograph above is courtesy of Handicap International, copyright: © William Daniels for Handicap International