Why Aren’t We Talking About Haiti?


JoAnn Ahn

Amid a destroyed home covered in ruin, a woman and a small child sit on buckets in Jeremie, Haiti. This is only a meager fraction of all the damage done by Hurricane Matthew. (Photo obtained from independent.co.uk)

JoAnn Ahn, News Editor

It’s been almost a month since Hurricane Matthew hit the southeastern coast of the United States and the Caribbean. The aftermath is still extremely evident with thousands of people left homeless, without family and friends, and some without hope. The extensive damage caused by Matthew resulted in more than 1,655 fatalities, with a majority coming from the small island country of Haiti.

With infrastructure, houses, and lives wiped out from the Category 5 Atlantic hurricane, Haiti has been left with nothing but increasing outbreaks of cholera, a waterborne disease mostly caused by contaminated water, and decreasing rates of clean sanitation. After the battering earthquake in 2010 that caused cholera to kill more than 7,000 people, this is a scary scene unfolding. For us living comfortably in our stable homes, drinking clean water, and eating warm food, Haiti is a parallel universe. And for us to be on the same earth as these vulnerable masses, it’s almost incomprehensible.

It seems as if once devastating events occur, an extensive amount of people and the media express sincere care and sympathy toward the given, current situations. But as time passes, it is as though these exact same people forget the tragedies even occurred. Although it is not the case for everyone, let me ask this. What happens after a week? After a month? Why does the news only cover donations and rescue efforts while neglecting the actual humans affected in the crises? Why do people only post statuses and tweet with hashtags in solidarity while the action is occurring, and then sway their attention elsewhere right away, as if they are oblivious to it? The world has put on a mask or a facade of complacency, and it’s time that changes.

I am so tired of people caring about what celebrities are up to or what the next trend is. What we should be caring about are our fellow brothers and sisters around the world who need saving, who need resources, who need our attention. Let’s stop directing our focus on ourselves and start helping and praying for this hurting country. Haiti may seem weak now, but strength will continually grow with the aid and love from the world.

To donate, please visit https://www.samaritanspurse.org/disaster/hurricane-matthew/