Judith Louise and her Baby Helped by Save the Children

Save the Children: Colin Crowley

Colin Crowley, Save the Children multimedia emergency response team

Makeshift Camp, Leogane, Haiti

January 20, 2010

Judith Louise lost her 6-year-old son in the earthquake and very nearly lost her 15-day-old baby boy, who does not yet have a name because he has not been baptized.

SC_AZ33: Save the Children

"When the earthquake struck, I was in the bedroom," said Judith Louise.

"I tried to run, but it knocked me down and I couldn't go back inside to grab the child. Outside, they asked me where was my baby. I told them I didn't know."

"The baby's grandfather went back inside and he saw that the baby had fallen on the ground. The wall had collapsed next to the baby and he was covered in dust. When they pulled my child out, I thought he was dead."

Judith Louise's husband, Friesnel, said, "The baby wasn't moving or breathing. It took a long time to revive him. When Judith Louise started nursing him, though, he came back to life."

"We were lucky to find the child alive," said Friesnel.

"Our house was completely destroyed. We lost everything. Everyone's house has been destroyed, so now we are equal as one – you understand. We don't have anything to survive with. Even if we have money, we can't find anything to buy. Nobody is giving us anything. We're all suffering here."

Save the Children: Field Worker Friesnel worries about how his family will survive, living in the streets.

Save the Children's Kathryn Bolles (pictured at right) helps families like those of Judith Louise and Friesnel by providing medical and nutrition supplies.

"We need to rebuild our houses. Our baby is suffering because we don't even have money to buy milk. We need money to reorganize our lives. We need food to come to this country in order for all of us to survive."

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Haiti Earthquake Emergency Podcast

Eyewitness Accounts of Haiti Earthquake Disaster Moderated by Cokie Roberts – Jan 19 2010

Save the Children trustee and award-winning journalist Cokie Roberts moderates the first, four-person panel session with call-in questions to Save the Children experts and rescuers on the ground in Haiti. On January 12, 2010, Save the Children launched an emergency relief effort to assist children and families in Haiti following a major 7.0-magnitude earthquake near the capital city of Port-au-Prince.

(To listen to the Podcast, roll your mouse arrow over the gray box and click.)

In this first episode, the speakers are:

Charles MacCormack, Save the Children president and CEO - 11 min. segment

Lee Nelson, Save the Children's Haiti country director – 8 min. segment

Kathryn Bolles, Save the Children's emergency health and nutrition director – 9 min. segment

Rudy von Bernuth, Save the Children vice-president and managing director – 6 min. segment

Learn more about our emergency response to the earthquakes in Haiti.

Save the Children Sets Up Child Friendly Spaces for Children like Angelo

Save the Children_002 

Filippo Ungaro, Save the Children, communications manager  

Makeshift Camp, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

January 19, 2010

Angelo, age 8, lost his home and all of belongings in the January 12 earthquake in Port-au-Prince. Today, he and his seven brothers and sisters are living with their mother in a crowded temporary encampment on the grounds of a church.  

Save the Children

The family survived with only the clothes on their backs. What little food they have they receive from friends. 

Angelo and his sister were just outside their house when the earthquake hit. 

“I was looking for my mum and I was really scared,” he says.  “Now we don’t even have a tent to sleep in. I don’t have anything, not even clothes.” 

Angelo, who would like to be a football player when he grows up, says he misses his home, his classmates and his school.

“I would like to go back home but I know that it’s impossible now. I’m not going to school anymore. It’s a shame because I like school,” he says. 

A third-grader, Angelo’s favorite class is grammar. Instead of being in class since the disaster, he says he spends his time playing with friends “even if I don’t have many here.” 

Save the Children is establishing a Child Friendly Space on the grounds of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ruelle St. Cyr, Carrefour Ti-Four, so that children in the encampment where Angelo is staying have a supervised place to play.

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Angelo’s mother, Maria Josette, said their house had been paid for but now they will have to start over.  

“The situation is not good for us,” she says. “I have nothing left.”

Photo credits: Antonio Bolfo/Getty Images

Help Us Respond to the Haiti Earthquake Emergency. Please Donate Now.


Save the Children President and CEO Arrives in Haiti, Visits Center for Displaced Children

Charles MacCormack, president and CEO Save the Children

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

January 17, 2010

Save the Children: Charles MacCormack

It's a race against time to get food, water and medical supplies to the people who for five days now have received very little aid. At this center for displaced children, the kids now feel safer and are cared for by trained staff.

Even in the most challenging of situations, Save the Children has been able to deliver urgently needed food, water and medical supplies. And we are doing that right now!

We are working to set up Child Friendly Spaces in areas where families have been setting up camp.

These areas will ensure the safety of children in the camps.

It gives them the opportunity to play and begin to recover from the death, injury and destruction they have witnessed, and the lack of necessities they have endured.

Photo credits: Adriana Zehbrauskas/Polaris

Help Us Respond to the Haiti Earthquake Emergency. Please Donate Now.


First Hospital Supplies Delivered by Save the Children Staff, Distribution of Water to People in Street

Ian Rodgers, John Bugge, Save the Children emergency staff

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

January 16, 2010

Here is a brief on-the-ground update on one of our first distributions in Port-au-Prince:

Espoire Ian Distribution-Save the Children

A 20-foot container that Save the Children filled in the Dominican Republic and sent overland was delivered today to the Hospital de l'Espoir (Hope Hospital).

It contained hygiene kits (rubbing alcohol, soap, towels, baby wipes, sanitary napkins, shampoo, toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, disinfectant gel, chlorine, diapers and water) plus food and water. 


food will serve 2,000 people and the supply included such items as
tinned fish, crackers, rice, beans, powdered milk, tomato sauce,
bottled water and cooking oil.

We provided some of the goods to people
on the street, as well. 

Photo credits: Win McNamee/Getty ImagesWater Distribution-Save the Children

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Hope in Haiti: ‘Miracle Baby’ Winnie Pulled from Rubble, Save the Children Health Staff Providing Medical Supplies

Save the Children: Kathryn Bolles

Kathryn Bolles, emergency health and nutrition director

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

January 16, 2010

I arrived in Haiti on Thursday as part of our response to the earthquake. On Friday, we began assessing the health situation for children and their families affected by the largest natural disaster to strike Haiti in 200 years.

Our first stop was to the General Hospital in the center of town — this is one of the only "functioning" hospitals. The scene there was dire in terms of the huge needs. Patients overflowed from the hospital building and were lying in the compound awaiting treatment. The hospital is still receiving patients, but it is chronically short of supplies and staff. 

The medical director of the hospital, however, was an inspirational person and explained the situation: two-thirds of the hospital is damaged and yet he remains determined to keep it open to meet the needs of the people injured in the earthquake. 

Even in the face of such adversity, he had a calming, positive attitude — while he spoke, a pregnant woman went into labor and he took the time to treat her. 

When we left the hospital, we saw two makeshift camps where people had gathered. One held 5,000 and had only four latrines. All of these latrines were full, however, and could no longer be used.

Save the Children: KBoles in Haiti

The lack of sanitation leads to issues around hygiene and can lead to increases in disease. During situations like this children are the most susceptible to hygiene-related diseases.

Even in these conditions, life goes on. While visiting the camp, we met one woman who had already given birth, with another women going into labor before our eyes.

There is very little shelter, however, and people are crowded together in very basic conditions.

When I arrived back at the office, I saw Winnie, a little girl under the age of 2, who had just been pulled from the rubble and was being treated by Save the Children's medical staff.

Save the Children: Winnie "Miracle Baby"

It was such an uplifting sight that provided hope during these difficult times.

Even as I watched, you could see her getting her strength back and regaining the color in her cheeks and the twinkle in her eyes.

It's hard to imagine that such a young child could survive for nearly three days under the rubble.

It's given me hope for the hundreds of thousands of children who have been affected by the earthquake. They are clearly strong and resilient.

We just need to support and protect them.

Help Us Respond to the Haiti Earthquake Emergency. Please Donate Now


Racing to Get Relief to Families in Desperate Need, Save the Children Begins Distribution of Relief Supplies

Save the Children: Annie Foster

Annie Foster, Save the Children emergency team leader

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

January 15, 2010

Starting last night, Save the Children’s response team began distributing IV solutions and medicines to 14   hospitals and clinics throughout the Port-au-Prince region. 

A truck load of family kits and hygiene kits just arrived at our office in Haiti from our office in the Dominican Republic.  We will begin distributing those supplies immediately.

We have 20 vehicles and 27 motorcycles to enable us to deliver aid.

We are seeing dazed, dehydrated parents walking the streets with their children, searching for clean water and food.  

Many are starting to congregate in open spaces, setting up makeshift camps. 

They are particularly fearful of being in or near buildings, as strong after shocks are continuing — one occurred at 5 am this morning. 

Save the Children will be starting "safe space" areas for children in these camps, and also beginning child tracing programs to reconnect children who were separated from their families during the emergency.

Help Us Respond to the Haiti Earthquake Emergency. Please Donate Now.


More Emergency Responders Arriving in Haiti from Save the Children

Ian Rodgers, Save the Children emergency response adviser

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

January 13, 2010

Ian RodgersECU

Morning today in Haiti was very eerie.

Last night, only a few hours  after the quake, a couple of our staff and I tried to get some sleep out in the garden of the office, but the frequent, violent aftershocks and the sounds of people crying, wailing in the distance made sleep impossible.

We had to sleep outside because our office compound was damaged in the quake.  The wall around the compound was destroyed and the pipes inside burst, so we can’t go back in yet because we are afraid of being electrocuted. 

But we are fortunate. Our office is a solid multi-story structure and fortunately, it survived the quake much better than many others buildings in the neighborhood.

Last night and throughout the day today, we’ve provided shelter to injured neighbors, children, diplomats and other NGO staff who have come to our compound for help. And today we were able to assist 3 people to be evacuated: an American, a Frenchman and a Spaniard.

This morning, as daylight broke, rescue efforts resumed. Because roads have been destroyed, we headed out by foot to walk around the neighborhood and survey damage as well as talk to children and families.  There is so much debris and rubble in the streets that we can’t get our vehicles through to do a proper assessment. So we instead headed out by foot to try to get a sense of what’s happened.   

When we spoke to children and families, it was clear that people are very much in shock.  We saw a lot of people still crying. There were so many distressed people – some of them were wailing, trying to find loved ones under debris and rubble. I’ve worked in a lot of disaster areas all over the world – and it was incredibly eerie to see so many people in shock.

This afternoon another guy on staff and I headed out by motorbikes to look for food and water, and try to do a more extensive assessment. We have only 11 drums of water left in the office and limited food.

We made it down the mountainside to the plateau – and everywhere we went, we saw massive destruction and people trying to dig through the rubble. We also saw small groups of people gathering at petrol stations or any place still standing. Of course this is not safe – they are standing on top of petrol tanks that may have been damaged and there is no organization, no relief efforts underway yet.

I’m really worried, it is expected to rain tonight and all the dust will turn into mud, making everything even worse.  In addition to making the search and rescue more difficult, it will also increase the risk for mudslides, especially during the aftershocks. 

It’s late now and it’s been a long day.  I am relieved that we have more emergency responders arriving from Save the Children tomorrow. Hopefully they will bring water purification tablets and food. We will be working to get our initial response – hygiene and shelter kits – up and going and hope that by tomorrow we will be able to make the first distributions.

Help Us Respond to the Haiti Earthquake Emergency. Please Donate Now.

Save the Children Launches Emergency Relief Effort to Assist Children and Families in Haiti

Ian Rodgers, Save the Children emergency response adviser

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

January 13, 2010


We could hear buildings still crumbling down five hours after the earthquake. Last night houses were down in the area surrounding our office.

This is a significant disaster. We are seeing at least 40 percent destruction and up to 70 percent damage to buildings in the neighborhood where our office stands.

Debris fills the roads and emergency responders are having a difficult time reaching the wounded. The survivors, especially the children, are going to need a lot of support for weeks and months to come.

Learn more about our emergency response in Haiti.

Help Us Respond to the Haiti Earthquake Emergency. Please Donate Now.