2011-01-19 16:12:07

Haiti: Signs of hope

2010 was a hellish year for the people of the impoverished nation of Haiti with a devastating earthquake, a cholera epidemic and ongoing political deadlock following disputed elections. But after that annus horribilis, what is the current mood like in the Caribbean nation? Dolores Bachmann is the Emergency Response Coordinator for Caritas Internationalis who has just returned from her second visit to Haiti in as many months. She spoke to Susy Hodges about the feelings she gained from talking to ordinary Haitians about their vision for the future:
"they wanted to put 2010 behind them and they wanted to look forward, rather than looking backward..... there's also a very, very strong sense that people generally want something very different to the kind of society they had prior to the earthquake." Bachmann says a key priority for the people of Haiti is that "they want to rebuild communities ... they want to be in charge of their own destiny."
Despite the appalling difficulties of the past year and the current political deadlock, Bachmann believes in the resourcefulness and resilience of the nation's people: "my confidence in Haitians is huge ... and I hope to see some strong leadership on the political side" that will help the population to rebuild their nation and their lives.
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