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President Obama’s Newsweek Haiti Essay: ‘Why Haiti Matters’

Posted by: Audiegrl

In the tragic aftermath of Haiti’s 7.0 earthquake, images of the disaster break our hearts and remind us of the fragility of life. What America must do now—and why

By President Barack Obama in
In the last week, we have been deeply moved by the heartbreaking images of the devastation in Haiti: parents searching through rubble for sons and daughters; children, frightened and alone, looking for their mothers and fathers. At this moment, entire parts of Port-au-Prince are in ruins, as families seek shelter in makeshift camps. It is a horrific scene of shattered lives in a poor nation that has already suffered so much.

In response, I have ordered a swift, coordinated, and aggressive effort to save lives in Haiti. We have launched one of the largest relief efforts in recent history. I have instructed the leaders of all agencies to make our response a top priority across the federal government. We are mobilizing every element of our national capacity: the resources of development agencies, the strength of our armed forces, and most important, the compassion of the American people. And we are working closely with the Haitian government, the United Nations, and the many international partners who are also aiding in this extraordinary effort.

We act for the sake of the thousands of American citizens who are in Haiti, and for their families back home; for the sake of the Haitian people who have been stricken with a tragic history, even as they have shown great resilience; and we act because of the close ties that we have with a neighbor that is only a few hundred miles to the south.

But above all, we act for a very simple reason: in times of tragedy, the United States of America steps forward and helps. That is who we are. That is what we do. For decades, America’s leadership has been founded in part on the fact that we do not use our power to subjugate others, we use it to lift them up—whether it was rebuilding our former adversaries after World War II, dropping food and water to the people of Berlin, or helping the people of Bosnia and Kosovo rebuild their lives and their nations.

At no time is that more true than in moments of great peril and human suffering. It is why we have acted to help people combat the scourge of HIV/AIDS in Africa, or to recover from a catastrophic tsunami in Asia. When we show not just our power, but also our compassion, the world looks to us with a mixture of awe and admiration. That advances our leadership. That shows the character of our country. And it is why every American can look at this relief effort with the pride of knowing that America is acting on behalf of our common humanity.

Right now, our search-and-rescue teams are on the ground, pulling people from the rubble. Americans from Virginia and California and Florida have worked round the clock to save people whom they’ve never met. Our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen quickly deployed to the scene. Hand in hand with our civilians, they’re laboring day and night to facilitate a massive logistical enterprise; to deliver and distribute food, water, and medicine to save lives; and to prevent an even larger humanitarian catastrophe.

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TV Crew Interpreter Rescues Baby Winnie From Rubble in Haiti

Posted by: Audiegrl

Winnie is passed to Australian journalist Mike Amor

Winnie is passed to Australian journalist Mike Amor

After hearing many experts say that no one could survive more than three days without water, today we learned a lesson about the power of faith. An Australian television crew interpreter pulled a 16-month-old girl, Winnie Tilin, from the rubble of a house in Haiti on Friday, January 15, nearly three days after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated the country.

In the ruins of a neighborhood, where a hillside collapsed, residents were desperately trying to dig out a young child who was crying under the rubble. She had been buried there for 68 hours with no food or water. Hearing her faint cries and concerned that rescue efforts were taking to long, a young man jumped into the concrete hole. Deiby Celestino was the TV crew’s interpreter from the Dominican Republic. Miraculously, after crawling over dead bodies to get to her, he was able to pull her out. Once free, he passed the child to Australian journalist Mike Amor.

Miracle baby, Winnie

Miracle baby, Winnie

It’s very emotional. I actually thought it was my own baby pulling out there,” said hero/rescuer Celestino “She did a great job staying alive for three days with no food or drink.

Once the child was pulled from the rubble, volunteers poured water over the girl. “Whose baby? Whose baby? Is it your baby?” asked Amor who passed the child to her Uncle. Unfortunately, Winnie’s parents were killed in the collapse of the family’s home. Her Uncle, Frantz Tilin, arrived to find her after losing his own pregnant wife in the earthquake.

Workers with Save the Children Fund fed Winnie and gave her fresh water to drink. STC medical experts determined the girl to be dehydrated, but expect her to recover well.

This is truly a story of the resilience of the human spirit and an example of a self-less act of heroism by a fellow human being.


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More Stories of Hope…

Amazing rescue as two-year-old boy is pulled from wrecked home in Haiti

A little boy named Redjeson Hausteen Claude, was saved by a Spanish emergency worker whose team have managed to reach the afflicted area.

A little boy named Redjeson Hausteen Claude, was saved by a Spanish emergency worker whose team have managed to reach the afflicted area.

A TWO-YEAR-OLD boy is plucked from the rubble of his home three days after it was destroyed by the Haiti earthquake.

Redjeson Hausteen Claude’s saviour Felix del Amo could not conceal his glee as he handed the child to his parents, Daphnee Plaisin and Reginald Claude.

Spanish and Belgian rescuers had listened to Redjeson’s fading cries as they dug for hours through twisted metal and concrete.

The tearful tot’s face broke into a huge smile as he clapped eyes on his mum and dad, who had tried to dig him free with their bare hands.

Amazingly, he had suffered only a few facial cuts.

Dramatic photographs captured the moment when the father of Redjeson saw a Spanish rescuer pull his terrified child from the wreckage: Click Image for Slide-show


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