Haiti: Hope among the rubble

Does Haiti’s own response to the earthquake contain the seeds of a brighter future? This film was screened in February 2010.

In the weeks since Haiti was struck by a massive earthquake on January 12, scenes from the aftermath of the catastrophe have been playing out on television screens around the world.

Not surprisingly much attention was initially focused on the effectiveness of the aid response, the dramatic rescue of survivors and the tragedy of a mounting death toll which may eventually exceed 200,000.

But, inevitably, many have also begun asking whether the country can ever recover from such a blow.

Although, with UN help, Haiti’s political and economic circumstances had been improving recently, it was still the poorest country in the Western hemisphere – scarred by its tortured past and years of global indifference.

This most recent disaster may have momentarily caught the attention of politicians, journalists and NGOs but there is more than a whiff of guilt attached to some of the help from richer nations, which could – and arguably should – have previously done much more to lift Haiti out of poverty and despair.

And when the television lights go off and the hospital ships sail away, many of those same underlying problems will still be there and Haiti will be on its own once more.

So what then for Haiti’s shattered government and traumatised people? What part will either be able to play in its reconstruction?

In the days following the disaster, People & Power’s Juliana Ruhfus and Caroline Pare set out to try and answer these questions, focusing their attention on Haiti’s own response to the calamity to see whether it contained any seeds of a brighter future.

Read more here.