Posted by: waterforwaslala | January 24, 2010

Haiti and Waslala

By Megan Leitch, Director of Marketing/Public Relations

As I continue to read about the tragedy in Haiti and the see the disheartening images on the news, I feel helpless and discouraged that Haiti will not be able to overcome this disaster. It’s so hard to figure out what I could do for a country that needs so much.

As I was reflecting on Haiti, I remembered a story from about five years ago when members of the Waslala Parish were so moved by the impacts of hurricane Katrina that they pulled together a small donation for the victims. It’s quite remarkable that people who are experiencing some of the same difficulties are generous enough to give up the little they have to help others in need. I continue to be inspired by their selflessness.

Haiti has brought to light the injustices of poverty and the importance of basic needs like clean water – needs that are also evident in Waslala.  Waslalans, like Haitians, need so much. Yet instead to trying (and most likely failing) to solve all of Waslala’s problems, we’ve decided to focus on the most acute issue – providing clean water for its people.

At this point, Haitians need medical supplies, food, water and many other things. It will take years and years for Haiti to be rebuilt and unfortunately it may continue to experience this extreme poverty long into the future.

My point in bringing this up is that the Haitian people will need our support much beyond what is happening now. Much like Waslala, donations need to continue beyond the construction of a few new water systems. It’s unfathomable what all of these people are going through and amazing that giving just a little bit can do so much.

Most of the contributors to this blog have visited Waslala at some point in their lives and therefore feel a strong connection to the Waslalan people. I have not had the pleasure to visit to date; however, I do feel the connection to the people through the stories I’ve heard, the photos I’ve seen, and the Waslalans’ ability to affect so many in a country so far away. I’ve been involved with Water for Waslala since 2004 and sometimes I feel that I can’t offer the people any direct help as I have no medical or engineering background and don’t speak Spanish. However, through Water for Waslala’s public relations efforts, especially this blog, I have found a way to help…because someone needs to share the Waslalan people’s story and connect their community to ours. It’s a simple way to help, but for me it is meaningful.

I’m proud to be involved in Water for Waslala and will continue to help communicate the stories of the Waslalan people and those of our own country who have been touched in some way by their Waslalan experiences.

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