Hi Project: AK-47 community, I would like to introduce you to Carla, one of our good friends and partners who just got back from HAITI after taking aid and medical supplies. I was on the phone with her today, and her story gripped me as pertinent for all of us. She is the kind of woman who finds her way (intentionally) into crisis areas—including our project areas in Burma—often going without food, water and sleep. She even gave away her shoes in Haiti because she felt someone else needed them more.
I want you to feel her heartbeat and let it move you.
-Marcus Young [Founder of Project: AK-47]
As I walked through the rubble in Port-au-Prince, the smell and risk of disease was so bad that bodies had to be burned in the streets. Dead bodies still lay beneath the heaps of rubble, and people wandered around in shock. We gave them water and food…but nothing was enough to ease the trauma.
We flew by helicopter to deliver medical supplies into remote areas. The clinics had run out of desperately needed supplies, and sometimes we arrived just at the right moment so they could continue to keep people alive. Villagers were bringing friends and family members to the countryside from Port-au-Prince in order to save their lives. Even now, we have flights continuing to remote areas where no aid is available.
Every day is like a month of work. Relief workers burn out in 7-10 days, since it is so intense. There is very little sleep, food and water, but lots of chaos. Even still, workers are giving everything they have to those with absolutely nothing. Many of us were sleeping next to the tarmac when we were able to sleep. It was hard to rest long with the drone of helicopters constantly ferrying severely wounded people to the makeshift hospital behind us. Airplanes continually landed with supplies nearby, too. But the supplies were never enough.
During food distribution, young men stormed to the front to get all of the food and water being offered in order to sell it to people who had not eaten in days. Women were pushed out of the way, as is typical for the treatment of women in Haitian society. Thousands of children were unable to scramble and fight for themselves…alone in the rubble.
We must pursue justice, defend the orphan, stand with the poor, stop the ruthless, and protect marginalized women! Living lives of comfort comes with responsibility: without active participation in laboring for justice, our lives are without meaning.
[From a report by Carla Brewington, Director of Harvest Emergent Relief, January 2010]
To help: Text AK47 to 85944.