It is now one and a half days ago that I arrived here in Haiti. I am writing this blog sitting in the SOS Childrens Village in Santo, close to the destroyed capital Port au Prince. On a first view life in the village seems to be just as I have seen in other SOS Villages around the world. The atmosphere is friendly, visitors are welcome. But if you look closer, you recognize that the children are not really laughing, that they are in general quite silent, and at night time you can see how they are living in fear. They are still sleeping outside their houses, especially after the new earthquake from Wednesday morning.
And still it is remarkable that inside our SOS Villages nearly nothing was destroyed. Because immediately outside the safe and secure place of our Village, the situation is unbelievably dramatic. All the TV-pictures I have seen before I arrived here, could not show how horrible the disaster really is. Only 35 seconds destroyed most of the town here in Port-au-Prince and also around here. 35 seconds changed the life of millions of people dramatically, and will last in their minds and hearts forever, especially in the life of the children.
An SOS Emergency team is doing a great job here, also the local staff of Haiti works hard, to stabilize the situation of the children in our Villages and to help lone children from outside. This is going to be the main task of the next days, bringing children left alone in to the village, and to give them a stable and secure shelter. And while we care for them SOS will be trying to search for their parents or other relatives, to reunite families.
I really have the feeling that SOS is following a good long term strategy, because we will still be here, when many other organizations have gone. But, what really concerns and a bit scares me, thinking about the long term need of the people here, is that at the moment most of the media people here planning to leave next week. This means they are leaving before the rebuilding of Haiti and the rebuilding of lifes starts.