AVSI continues its commitment to the "reconstruction of the human" in Haiti. The reconstruction is changing the aspect of the country. However, important challenges still remain to be tackled.
“There is no peace in the place where I live. I just want a place where I don't feel Iike I'm in danger”. This is the dream of 19 year old Peter . He is an artisan in wrought iron ateliers opened by AVSI on the island, but his dream is shared by many other young people of Cité Soleil in Haiti.
“The years have passed, the wounds are gradually healed – Fiammetta Cappellini, chief of AVSI in Haiti, said from Port-au-Prince – Buildings have been reconstructed, schools reopened, kids are back playing in the streets. Five years have passed, but yet nothing is ever returned to be like before. Life has never taken its course. The days of the earthquake are a fracture in everyone's life . There is a "before" and there is an "after" . And that fracture is what changes irrevocably the way we look at life , what changes the meaning of it all”.
That fracture Fiammetta is talking about can be partially summarized by numbers. Since the disaster has brought the country to its knees, there are still more than 85 thousand displaced persons, 600 thousand Haitians living in conditions of food insecurity and more than 50 thousand new infections of cholera are recorded every year. All set in a context of heavy economic decrease: development indicators in the country remain low, some even in the negative. The majority of the population lives in situations of unacceptable poverty and even the most basic rights are not guaranteed.
"It is necessary that the international community and donors do not abandon Haiti – it is the appeal of Fiammetta Cappellini - the time has come to take a further step forward: from physical reconstruction of houses and infrastructure to the “reconstruction of the human”, in order that affected people get back to living a dignified life".
From the first days after the earthquake, the AVSI team in Haiti, led by Fiammetta, has been standing by earthquake victims with activities aimed at combating malnutrition and rebuilding community structures. Over the years AVSI started up 19 new works: seven schools, two educational centers, six feeding centers, three artisanal workshops and a community restaurant. This has been made possible because of the work of about 180 people under difficult and often extreme conditions and the collaboration of the friends of AVSI, the network, the DSP sponsors and the volunteers, in addition to the fundamental support of donors, individuals and enterprises who have never stopped believing in the future of Haiti.
There is still a long and difficult road for the reconstruction of Haiti. However, since 2010 progress has been made. The reconstruction programme launched by AVSI is starting to bear fruit and improvements can be seen. The number of homeless people has dropped. Haitians have learned to cultivate the land and how to work, thanks to the three artisanal workshops born to encourage local development and employment with the help of AVSI. Rebuilt schools are operating again and children have returned back to their classes.