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4 Years Later: Haiti's Recovery Continues

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[AARP Foundation Presents] [Revisiting Haiti with Soledad O'Brien] [A Starfish Media Group Production] ♪ music ♪ [Soledad O'Brien] Rosalie Ajax felt tragedy twice over on the day of the earthquake. She lost her home, then she discovered she lost her daughter. How hard have the last few years been since the earthquake? [Rosalie Ajax] I almost went crazy. My child died. I never found her body or anything else. [Soledad O'Brien] The rubble in this tiny lot is what the tremors left of her house. This little boy and girl are what her daughter left behind. Rosalie, are elderly people treated well in Haiti? [Rosalie Ajax] No, no. We are mistreated—we are held in contempt. [Soledad O'Brien] What she did have was Nicole Ferdinand, who runs the older people's association formed by AARP Foundation through its partner, HelpAge— a collective of 4,300 elderly people who help each other in the town of Léogâne— the epicenter of the Haiti earthquake. [Nicole Ferdinand] The government does not provide any assistance. They don't even care they are there. [Soledad O'Brien] Does Rosalie know that it's the organization that Lisa runs that helps fund a lot of what she's doing? [Rosalie Ajax] I am thanking you! [laughing] [Soledad O'Brien] More than 84,000 people over 60 were harmed by the earthquake. AARP members and the AARP Foundation responded with $1.5 million dollars of emergency donations, funding programs like the association. Why did you want to come on this trip? [Lisa Marsh Ryerson, President, AARP Foundation] To experience our work and—at my core— to ensure that older Haitians were taken care of. [Soledad O'Brien] Lisa Ryerson, who heads the AARP Foundation, has come with a delegation of AARP leaders to see what their dollars accomplished. [Lisa Marsh Ryerson] I know the facts—I read the report. But until you meet the people and hear their voice authentically and have them tell me, as Rosalie did and Nicole did, that, in fact, we have helped. [Soledad O'Brien] The work AARP Foundation funded included emergency medical care for 9,000 injured, supplies to 12,000 people relegated to tent camps, health education and insurance cards to another 1,500 people., and they paid $5 a day to the volunteers who launched the older people's associations. They also helped demolish unstable buildings and provided staff and healthcare to the grateful residents of this Catholic nursing home, Saint Vincent de Paul, run by Sister Claudette Charles. But after the earthquake, it must have been so devastating—everything you built, gone. [Sister Claudette Charles] The Sisters of my congregation were dead. That's when I started crying. >> [Soledad O'Brien] You cried? You knew how bad it was. >> [Sister Claudette Charles] I was facing reality. [Soledad O'Brien] So why continue? Why not just quit—why not stop? You lost everything. [Sister Claudette Charles] No. [Soledad O'Brien] The women now gather beneath the shade trees to escape the heat—the men in the shadows of a courtyard. The home is back on its feet. Barry Rand is the CEO of AARP. [A. Barry Rand, Chief Executive Officer, AARP] I think people, in the end, want to make sure that other people are taken care of if there's a chance to get it done. If it takes a little money, they take the little money out of their pocket and they contribute. [Soledad O'Brien] Rand has a hard time looking away from the need he sees around him, even though the AARP relief was always intended to be short-term. So I would imagine in a country like Haiti you could spend the rest of your life here and never fill the hole that—that's needed. [Barry Rand] That's true. >> [Soledad O'Brien] How do you navigate that line of what you're here to do, and also make change that lasts, not just this year or next year, but the next 10 years and 20 years? [Barry Rand] It's important, I think, to build communities. In the end, you're trying to fix an ethos. You're trying to fix how people interact. You're trying to fix how people care for each other. And if you can do that, then I think you get much more out of it. [Soledad O'Brien] It's the elderly, like Rosalie, who will test whether this effort can be sustainable. She can't read or write, and she counts on the AARP associations to help her survive, and her grandchildren thrive. ♪ music ♪ [Lisa Ryerson] That help and support was about hunger, and housing, and isolation, and health. If, in fact, we've achieved some results, that's the inspiring part. ♪ music ♪ The overwhelming piece is— and with all of that, there is so much more to be done. ♪ music ♪ [female speaker] After seeing the impact of its relief efforts in Haiti, the AARP Foundation has set up a special fund to be prepared when the next disaster strikes. ♪ music ♪ [Revisiting Haiti with Soledad O'Brien] [A Starfish Media Group Production] [AARP® Foundation] [For More Information: aarpfoundation.org/relief]

Video Details

Duration: 5 minutes and 55 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 26
Posted by: aarp on May 23, 2014

AARP members and AARP Foundation made a difference for older victims of earthquake.

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