From Acupunturists Without Borders newsletter:
AWB Executive Director, Diana Fried, and AWB Haiti Operations Manager, Julia Raneri arrived in Port-au-Prince, Haiti Wednesday morning, February 3. We wanted to send you a brief report as soon as possible from the field.
“We were able to land here after all and didn’t need to do the grueling drive from the Dominican Republic. There are lines and crowds of people waiting for food distribution and buildings flattened everywhere. Everyone has heart breaking stories to tell. We have already given several treatments. Roger Brierre, friend of Jean and Eric, our generous and lovely Haitian hosts, is driving us around in his truck. Now and then the ground under the truck moves, and Roger says his heart jumps because he fears it is another earthquake.
We are going to an orphanage this afternoon, and are scheduled to meet with the economic advisor to the Prime Minister today as well to discuss the needs here. We will also be checking in with the UN, which is coordinating NGO’s in Haiti, and going to the general hospital.”
Kimberly Marin, an acupuncturist from Davie, Florida, along with a Sarasota news anchorwoman, are also traveling with Diana and Julia. Ms. Marin made the connection for AWB to fly into Haiti with the assistance of Dr. Ali Tahiri of Sarasota, Florida and a group of doctors who are going in to treat the Haitian people. We are grateful for their dedication to AWB’s work and guidance and support for AWB’s first journey to Haiti.
The goal of Diana and Julia’s trip to Haiti is to learn how, when, and where AWB can be of greatest service in Haiti, and how to set up a disaster recovery effort that is most appropriate for what is actually happening: now, and as the situation unfolds. AWB wants to make sure our timing and strategy for intervention are well considered, so we can provide what is needed, when it is truly needed, rather than further straining circumstances that are already fraught with unimaginable difficulties. We also want to make sure we will be taking our volunteers into a situation where risks can be well-managed and their safety can be protected.
We will provide more information as it becomes available. Diana is in touch via email on her Blackberry and service may be intermittent.
Roger Brierre, Diana and Julia’s current guide, sends a message:
“We want to say to all American people and the government of the United States that have been helping Haitians that we really appreciate their help. However the earthquake was so devastating to our people. Please do your best to keep helping the people of Haiti.”
Trauma recovery will definitely be needed as the rubble clears, and survivors have water, emergency medical care, food, and shelter.
Here is an excerpt from the New York Times on January 28:
“Meanwhile, government health officials on Thursday reported that the psychological impact of the disaster is becoming more apparent in the symptoms being seen at general clinics run by Doctors Without Borders.
One, in the rural town of Leogane near the epicenter of the Jan. 12 earthquake, reported that about half of the people receiving treatment were suffering from mental trauma….
The International Medical Corps, which is overseeing operations at the general hospital in Port-Au-Prince, also brought in a mental health specialist to help begin dealing with emerging concerns of post-traumatic stress disorder and other problems.”
Thank you to all who have donated for AWB’s Haiti Disaster Recovery Project to help us bring trauma relief into Haiti.
Thank you especially to Blue Poppy Enterprises, Inc. for raising $725 for this effort by donating a percentage of their sales between January 29 and January 31 to the Haiti Disaster Recovery Project.
Acupuncture Media Works is now running a fundraiser as well. For every set of “Acupuncture in a Nutshell” booklets you purchase they will donate $6 to Acupuncturists Without Borders for the Haiti relief effort.
Thank you also to Helio Medical Supplies, Inc. and Golden Flower Chinese Herbs for their generous donations of needles, herbs, and other supplies for this project.
Please continue to provide your support. We need $20,000 to launch this effort.
Amount raised so far for Haiti Disaster Recovery Project:
$ 2,400.00 in kind (acupuncture supplies)
We still need to raise an additional $3,465.00. Please help us reach this goal!
Here are some other ways you can help us raise funds:
1. Add this link to your emails, web site, and facebook page to help us raise funds:
2. Sponsor an event for the public, providing free acupuncture treatments, with suggested donations for the Haiti Disaster Recovery Project. Dozens of acupuncturists around the country are now organizing these events!
We have an information and promotions kit that will make it easy for you to coordinate an event like this.
To receive this kit, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(ALL HAITI VOLUNTEERS…PLEASE READ BELOW FOR PROGRAM UPDATE)
Other related news:
*** Taxpayers will be able to deduct donations for Haiti earthquake relief on their 2009 returns instead of waiting until 2010, under a bill approved by Congress.
*** If you would like to do a fund-raising event for our Haiti project, please email email@example.com for an event kit.