News / Americas

Haiti Quake Survivors Cope with Physical, Emotional Scars

Alex Villarreal

Thousands of Haitians sought refuge in the United States after the devastating earthquake in Haiti last year.  Many suffered unimaginable trauma and bear both physical and emotional scars.

For the Jean family, life together is a blessing.

“Because we were in [the] face of death.  That’s the work of God, because we are alive,” Stevenson Jean says.

Stevenson lived through Haiti's earthquake with his mother and six siblings.

His father, Jean Claude, was in Miami, working to support them.

“I call my family, the phone, the phone is dead,” he recalls.

All are safe now, but life still is not easy.

Marie-Rolle Jean
Marie-Rolle Jean

“We had many difficulties after the earthquake. I had two children hurt in the quake and myself," explains Marie-Rolle, Jean Claude's wife.

And with another child on the way, the Jeans also struggle financially.

“$400 per week.  Not enough for my family,” Jean Claude says.

To help cope, they rely on faith.  Emmanuel Zizi is the pastor at Worshipers' House of Prayer in Miami.

“All of us have the same problems, so this is really, we help each other carry our burdens,” the pastor notes.

Another group helping quake victims is Haitian Women of Miami, a social services agency for immigrants known as FANM.  Marleine Bastien founded the group.

“These victims, they go through a lot.  A lot of them need housing, they need to move, they need access to school,” she explains.

Nerline Cajuste
Nerline Cajuste

Nerline Cajuste came to FANM for help applying for health care aid.  She had hip replacement surgery after suffering injuries in the quake.

"After the surgery, I have a blood clot.  Now I feel pain, I feel pain in my leg.  I cannot walk good now," Nerline says.

The pain is not just physical.

"It makes me sad," Nerline adds.

"250,000 people died.  These people, they are traumatized," notes Marlene Bastien.

When Brutus Michel relives the earthquake, he remembers his wife.

"Her heart was beating so fast, that she died 12 days later," he explains.

Michel says moving in with family in the U.S. has helped him cope.

It's a daily battle all too familiar to Claude Cyntia Riou. She shares her story with the help of a translator.

"This picture is the last picture that I took of him," she says, holding a photo of her son.

Riou had just picked up eight-year-old Tonton from school when the earthquake hit.

"When I saw his feet out of the car, I said 'Oh my God, Tonton died.'"

Riou says she relives that moment every day.

"I’m laughing, I talk, but it’s not me.  I’m here, but not really," she says.

But with the help of her other children and her faith...Riou, like other survivors, carries on.

"For me, Tonton is not dead," Riou says.


You May Like

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukrainian PM Warns: Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Mexico Governor Resigns After Student Disappearances

Students from a rural teachers training college went missing after a confrontation with police in the town of Iguala on September 26
More

World's Highest Ice Age Settlements Discovered

The settlements, 4.5 km above sea level in the southern Peruvian Andes, were inhabited at least 12,000 years ago
More

Haiti Cholera Victims Seek Damages from UN in US Court

Plaintiffs blame a contingent of Nepalese peacekeepers for bringing disease to their nation after 2010 earthquake
More

Video Canada Capital Tense as Parliament Reopens

PM Harper says Wednesday's shooting, along with another incident this week that led to a soldier's death, are grim reminders that Canada is not immune to terrorism
More

Video US Political Parties Face Challenge Motivating Hispanics

As November 4 midterm elections loom, Latino activists, who are mostly Democrats, say they are disappointed and angry with president over immigration reform
More

Multimedia Canadian Prime Minister Speaks After Shots Fired in Parliament

Stephen Harper said Wednesday's attack, along with another incident this week that led to a soldier's death, are grim reminders that Canada is not immune to terrorism
More