Earthquakes are terrifying in any situation, but when they strike third world countries, where construction is primitive and where poverty is rampant, the devastation is magnified. In these circumstances no one suffers more than children. When Haiti was struck with a forceful earthquake on January 12, it left thousands of children dead, injured and at significant risk. While the major rescue and relief agencies swung into action, their efforts were focused on the masses and the large numbers in need. As always, orphans and those orphaned by the quake were at the bottom of the aid totem pole because they had nobody to fend for them, and they were not strong enough to battle the masses for the limited supplies of food and water available.
In 2006, World of Childrens vetted and honored Susie Krabacher for her work with the vulnerable children of Haiti. Prior to the quake she had a feeding program that served over 800,000 meals a year to children, two orphanages, one school and the only free pediatric clinic for children in Port au Prince. While the quake destroyed and damaged almost all of this, Susie and her team went to work to reestablish all the programs and take in as many new orphans as possible.
We at the World of Childrens saw the great need in Haiti, and we recognized that the best way for us to help was by sending funds to a trustworthy humanitarian that we knew was already hard at work on the ground in Port Au Prince, Susie. We established our first-ever emergency relief fund, and thanks to the generosity of our board and our donors, we were able to quickly raise money to send to Haiti.
Since Susie’s organization is small, one of its benefits is that it could be nimble. Using creativity and discipline, she was able to use the funds we sent her to bring in emergency supplies on private boats to small fishing ports while large organization were still struggling to open the major ports and airports. Because of Susie’s work, hundreds of children in Haiti were able to receive medical attention, food, shelter and more in a timely fashion.
Moreover, the World of Childrens was able to create connections for Susie and her team to help elevate and expand their efforts. Because we have created a network of heroes committed to helping children worldwide, we were able to connect our past honorees who were in Haiti so that they could support each other’s work (I will be writing a blog discussing this more soon). We also introduced Susie to CNN and ABC News, increasing the visibility of the amazing work she is doing.
The World of Childrens is proud of the effort undertaken and of its outcome, and we are grateful to all those who helped us help these most vulnerable children in their hour of need. To read a thank-you note from Susie’s organization you can click here.