A Letter from Save the Children’s Country Director Gary Shaye

Save the Children’s Haiti country director Gary Shaye. Photo credit: Susan Warner-Lambert

When I drive through the streets of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, two years after the earthquake, a few things strike me.

Much has been done: buildings have been repaired, there’s less rubble, and Haitians are getting on with life.

But that’s only part of the story. After working here for close to two years, I know that more than 500,000 people still live in tents, millions still need jobs, and cholera is still a major problem, one which Haiti will face for years to come.

As you’ll see from the stories in this year’s report, Save the Children is fundamentally changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Haitians. And we’re able to do that because of your support.  But it is a slow process – anyone who thinks there is a quick fix to the obstacles in Haiti is mistaken. Those who think progress is not fast enough in Haiti should simply remember the challenges Americans have faced in the more than five years since Hurricane Katrina. 

But don’t give up on Haiti. Haitians haven’t. Their resiliency and energy is inspiring. The new government has ambitious plans and is eager to make changes. The humanitarian community is ready to help for the long haul. Save the Children’s generous donors are making a huge difference in Haitians’ lives. The Haitian diaspora has played an important role in rebuilding the country and will for decades to come.

Our incredibly committed staff—from the nurses on the nightshift at the cholera clinic, to the staff who keep our offices throughout the country running—aren’t giving up hope either. They aren’t alone. As you’ll see from the Haitians profiled in this year’s report, they are working every day to put their country back on track.

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