National News

Jan 13, 2011 12:19 AM by Shawn Kline

Haiti... One year later: donations down, not done

It was exactly one year ago when a devastating earthquake struck Haiti. Millions of donations from around the world poured into the nation, but the country remains in ruins.
However, some people in Acadiana hope to change that outlook.
People like Ingrid Czichomski- owner of Euro Bread in Lafayette and founder of Happy Haiti Foundation.


"We make the mini king cakes so that way we can spoil our customers and just fill them up," Ingrid said.
She loves baking, but in her off-time her heart is with family in Haiti; children who survived the earthquake.
"Nannies died pushing the babies out of the way to avoid getting crushed," Ingrid recalled.
It's stories like this one that inspired Acadiana.
Festival International sponsored "L'union fait la force," a benefit that raised more than $24-thousand. Money people like David Goodwin donated to keep a Haitian town alive.
"They used up all their reserves and all their supplies." Goodwin says, "this money was able to help replenish that."
Now, a year later, the donations have dropped off but the need is still great.
"They don't have access to jobs, they don't have medicine, medical care, things we take for granted in this country," Goodwin said.
"Haitians are given fish." Ingrid says, "it is high time that they are taught how to fish."
Czichomski says Haiti wants to rebuild but they don't know how. She says organizations like her own, "happy haiti" can help.
"We will teach them trades that will rebuild the country." Ingrid says, "how to build and maintain roads, how to build and maintain waterwells."
A country still rebuilding... one year after the quake.

To learn more about these organizations and ways to contribute, visit the following sites:

Happyhaiti.org

and

Worldstudiesinstitute.org

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