Today is “Dessalines Day” in Haiti and the Haitians have chosen this day to protest the corruption of their government. Dessalines Day commemorates the day in 1804 when Jean-Jacques Dessalines declared independence and restored the country’s native name. It commemorates ancestors and other loved ones who have died fighting for freedom.
After the earthquake in 2010, Americans gave tens of millions of dollars in donations and governments around the world gave billions of dollars but 85,000 people still live in crude displacement camps and many others live in deplorable conditions. The disconnect between massive amounts of private and public aid given and the poverty, disease and homelessness that still plagues the Haitian people raises a questions that is difficult to answer: Where did all that money go?
Due to the unrest and potential for riots, the Haitian government has urged people stay home today so many surgeries have been cancelled. The safety of our volunteers is our first priority so all of the Operation Medical team members are not traveling on the roads today and staying in safe guarded locations.