Like most in our community, I have been distressed and horrified at the destruction and devastation of Haiti and its people. The suffering is undoubtedly horrendous and indeed overwhelming, but Haitians, a people who have demonstrated, historically, a capacity to overcome adversity, will survive this latest challenge.
The response of the international community to this tragedy is commendable. In time, the organized chaos will pass and aid will be distributed efficiently to ease the immediate suffering of those most affected.
The rebuilding of Haiti is another matter. We can expect those who now appear so benevolent, given their histories, will seek to influence and control the political aspirations of the people. But that is a discussion for another time.
Of all the heartrending images in the media, what I found most painful to watch was one of orphans sleeping outside of an orphanage. The two young American women who own the orphanage said they were afraid to take the children indoors because they feared that the building would collapse. This got me to thinking of those children recently orphaned by the earthquake. Traumatized by the earthquake and no doubt equally, if not more, traumatized by the loss of parents and caregivers. In the days ahead who will comfort them, who will take care of their emotional needs and who will take care of them generally when the spotlight is removed from Haiti?
This extraordinary tragedy calls for extraordinary measures. Surely there are Haitian families in Canada and indeed the Diaspora, who are well positioned to foster and or adopt these orphans. We must, all of us, call on the federal government and, in particular, the Minister of Immigration, to let the children in on humanitarian grounds. It can be done. In fact, large scale admission to Canada on humanitarian grounds has been done for other groups and we must not accept any differential treatment.
Organize! Bring the Children.