PORT-AU-PRINCE (WKOW)-- Haiti is a country still trying to survive months after the deadly 7.0 earthquake on January 12th. More than 200,000 people lost their lives, hundreds of thousands were injured, millions affected.
Haiti is the poorest country in this hemisphere. The people needed help long before the earthquake. Their desperate situation was thrust into the spotlight. The world responded; through donations of time or money.
We followed local doctors, nurses and others to Haiti to see the volunteers at work trying to help Haiti recover.
The National Palace in Port-au-Prince still looks like it did in the days following the earthquake. It is a symbol of a country still in ruins.
Streets are obstacle courses as people pile up remnants of the earthquake. Parks and any open spaces are now tent cities. More than one million people are still homeless.
Doctors, nurses, and others from our area are reaching out.
Dr. David Olive, a fertility expert in Madison, has come to Haiti for a few years now. He usually stays here at Hospice St. Joseph in Port-au-Prince.
"It was a three story structure," said Dr. Olive. "It had a clinic--sometimes medical, sometimes dental on the first floor, a gift shop on the second floor and about 14 rooms that had cold and cold running water."
"This is unbelievable," said Dr. Olive. "This entire structure is gone. It was home to us so many times when we came here. It is just amazing to see."
"Hard to imagine it can happen in 45 seconds and boom, it's done," said Dr. Olive. "Unreal."
"Right now we are standing in the Episcopal church." said Missy.
Missy Owen is in Haiti as a clinic director for an organization called Family Health Ministries based in North Carolina. She leads the group of volunteers including Dr. Olive from Madison.
"This is one of the older churches in Port au Prince. You see the painting over there? This church was very famous for the murals in front of the worship space. As you can see they are not there anymore. Which saddens me greatly I lived in Port au Prince for over a year and this was the church where I would come and worship, so this is very hard to see. This was a beautiful church and beautiful congregation that worshiped here."
I asked Missy why is it so important people not forget Haiti. Why is it so important people remember?
"These are their brothers and sisters in another country," said Missy. They didn't start out in a good position before the earthquake and we need to remember they need our help and they need to know they are cared about."
Monday night on 27 News at 10, we see your donations at work. We will visit an American Red Cross distribution site. You can continue to be a part of Haiti's rebuilding on Friday from 7pm to 8pm... by contributing. It's an one hour live special event: Wisconsin's Lifeline to Haiti.
Plus, join me all week long as we follow local doctors and nurses as they help Haiti recover.