What has filled our eyes over the last 10 days of the Haitian people’s life challenges has been mind boggling. The fact that over ½ the buildings and homes were destroyed, over 150,000 people have died, and many more are buried in the rubble is just hard to believe. The assistance of so many countries and people from around the world is very touching. I thank everyone for their giving and caring.
But what about the children?
My wife’s and my church supports 3 orphanages in Haiti. Haiti had a huge number of unwanted and parentless children due to a long list of cultural and economic reasons, BEFORE the earthquake. Now after this horrific event, there are so many more children that need homes. Estimates are as high as 1 million children have lost one or both parents.
As I write this, the national news just announced they found today a woman alive after 15 days!!
Our pastor took 12 seminary students to Haiti to tour the church’s orphanages and teach them about dealing with the poor. They arrived 1 day before the earthquake. It took them almost a week to get home to the US via boats, motorcycles, walking, buses, and finally a plane out of the Dominican Republic. We were all blessed that our pastor, the seminary students, and all the children and care givers at our orphanages were not badly injured. There were some broken bones and some bruises, but overall we were very, very lucky.
But what about he children?
The 3 orphanages were badly damaged. It seems all the hard work and building and support that we have provided over the last 3 years was gone. But, this is not true. They still have each other. All of these children are a family at each of the orphanages, something they did not have prior to our church’s involvement. The goal of the aid workers has to be to get the families back to together.
But what about the Care Givers?
Compassion Fatigue is a very real issue for all the workers that are in Haiti trying to help the Haitians. Compassion Fatigue involves empathically connecting people going through the emotions of trauma, resulting in experiencing those emotions yourself.
MINES and Associates has programs that help people who deal with trauma on a daily basis such as doctors, nurses, police officers, and fire fighters to name just a few.
MINES and Associates also has EAP programs that provide counseling and therapy to help daily care
givers of our friends, family and loved ones.
To learn more about compassion fatigue and other behavioral issues, please check out our web site at http://www.minesandassociates.com for more information.