Compassion Canada

July 15, 2010 11:30 ET

Compassion Canada: Not Everyone Stalled in Haiti's Rebuild

LONDON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 15, 2010) - July 12 is the six-month anniversary of Haiti's earthquake, and the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee just released a report showing the rebuilding effort is stalled.

The report praises both donors and Haiti's government for rising to the challenge in the days following January's magnitude-7 quake. 

Observers also noted that as the crisis ebbed, the sense of urgency also waned in tackling the job of putting the country back together. The risk, warns the report, is a gradual "return to the dysfunctional, unsustainable ways of life past."

However, not everyone is in the same boat. Kathy Redmond with Compassion International says all of their child sponsorship programs are back up and running. "Out of 22,000 children, we have been able to locate all but 350. Probably those 350 kids have been displaced; they've probably left for a different area with their families."

Schools are up and running. But for the older students, it's a little slower. Leadership Development Program participants face a more complex issue. "It requires that the student actually go to a university, but there aren't any [universities] standing. However, makeshift classes have recently begun and our LDP students are engaged in class and rebuilding work."

Redmond says Compassion is not a relief agency, but they have to get their programs to a functioning point. From there, "we are looking at 14 different long-term strategies to include more counseling, building homes, building our church projects back up, food security, etc." (Four of the eighteen original strategies have already been completed.) 

"God has been doing supernatural things in Haiti," explains Redmond. Through their work with the churches, the Gospel is changing the landscape "in terms of healing, in terms of the movement of the church, in terms of bringing people to Christ."

There's a bright future ahead. Planning, tasking, and moving forward are part of it. Redmond observes that plays a role in rebuilding, but there's the "other" element that drives everything they do. "It's one thing to put everything on paper and to come up with an agenda; it's another thing to have God totally take over."

Compassion Canada's President Barry Slauenwhite, who was in Haiti when the earthquake hit, speaks of the many positive outcomes of the disaster not the least of which is a hope welling up within the Haitian Christians that God will turn this disaster into a great opportunity. "The earthquake was not the death of Haiti," says Slauenwhite, "It was the birth of a new Haiti. A Haiti that will be built on God rather that the legacy of evil spirits and corruption."

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Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Compassion Canada
    Aaron Armstrong
    519.668.0224 or 1.800.563.5437