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Three Years After the Earthquake…

Posted Jan 12th, 2013

Dear Friends and Supporters of the What If? Foundation,

Today marks the three-year anniversary of the catastrophic earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  The earthquake and its aftermath are being described as the worst national disaster in the history of the western hemisphere.

I invite you to join the What If? Foundation in remembering all the people of Haiti today.  Na Rive, our Haitian partners, will gather this afternoon under the food program tent with other members of the Ti Plas Kazo community to pray for the 300,000 people who lost their lives three years ago and for the millions who continue to suffer from the effects of the earthquake, Hurricane Sandy and Isaac, and an expanding cholera epidemic.

Through our partnership with Na Rive and your generous donations, we have been able to bring loving and effective support to thousands of vulnerable children since the earthquake, helping to ease their suffering and provide hope.

“I live in a tent camp. The food program is everything to me.  I like talking to the adults there, and being around all the children.  It’s the only thing that keeps me and the others in the tent camp going.  I don’t know what we would do without it.”     – Lanol, age 12

Lanol is one of nearly 400,000 people still living under tents and tarps throughout Port-au-Prince, without reliable access to clean water or proper sanitation.  In the articles I link below, you’ll read what has happened – or more accurately, not happened – with the billions of dollars pledged and donated after the earthquake, and why this money has not reached Lanol’s family and most other impoverished Haitians.  It’s astounding, confusing, heart-breaking, frustrating.

At this time of remembering, I am so grateful for all of you and all the members of Na Rive. Our partnership offers a trustworthy and effective way to direct our hearts and resources to Lanol and so many children like him.  When reports describing the bleak reality of a rebuilding effort gone terribly astray threaten to overwhelm me, I think back to when I met Fr. Gerry Jean-Juste thirteen years ago this month.  It was he who shared his vision of a community food program that ignited the question “What If?” within me.  This has been a journey of faith and small steps ever since.  Steps that have brought us to where we are today — an example of what’s possible.

Thank you for being part of the What If? Foundation, for your prayers, for your encouragement, and for your ongoing donations that are so crucial for this work to continue.

Piti piti na rive (little by little we will arrive),

Margaret Trost
Founder, What If? Foundation


From Law Professor Bill Quigley
Billions to Haiti, Little to Haitians

From The New York Times:
Rebuilding in Haiti Lags After Billions in Post-Quake Aid

From the Guardian:
Disastrous relief for Haiti: Three years on from the quake, it’s evident reconstruction has been fatally undermined by greedy and incompetent outsiders