Alumni Play Major Roles in Haitian Relief
The Jan. 12 earthquake that devastated Haiti has unfolded as one of the worst human disasters of modern times. In the weeks and months that followed, Hamiltonians — alumni, parents and those on the Hill — responded with generosity and commitment as rescue, aid and rebuilding efforts took shape.
According to the United Nations, at least 250,000 people died in the quake and its aftermath, with 300,000 injured and one million left homeless. The 7.0 quake, centered near the capital of Port-au-Prince, severely damaged basic services and infrastructure in a nation already regarded as the poorest in the Western Hemisphere.
Among alumni involved with relief efforts:
Tom Succop '58 serves on the board of Hôpital Albert Schweitzer, in Haiti's Artibonite Valley north of Port-au-Prince. Overwhelmed by thousands of patients in the weeks following the quake, the hospital of fewer than 100 beds eventually hosted specialized surgical teams who arrived from the United States and Canada to treat the injured, but the task of long-term care remains daunting.
Dan Florea P'11 chairs the board of International Relief & Development, which chose the Leogane district — at the quake's epicenter — as one of its primary development sites. IRD has focused its efforts on both immediate humanitarian relief and longer-term sanitation and infrastructure repairs.
Kate Carter '92 serves as programs coordinator for AmeriCares, which has long provided humanitarian aid to Haiti and now plays a key role in airlifting medical supplies and equipment — including antibiotics, anesthesia and nutritional supplements — to the stricken nation.
Erin Maria Norton '98 is assistant director of emergency service for the American Red Cross, which has worked around the clock since immediately after the disaster providing more emergency-response teams than any other single-country disaster in Red Cross history.
At least two alumni are reaching out through their work at UNICEF — Brian Meyers '00, director of development and emergency fundraising, and Maria Choi '03, marketing manager. Among UNICEF's efforts is a massive immunization program for children.
Andrea Coron Richardson '02 is senior program officer at the American Jewish World Service, which put an early focus on aiding parts of the crisis zone not otherwise targeted for large-scale relief, such as poor and rural areas outside Port-au-Prince.
Aaron Crosman '01 serves as Web director for the American Friends Service Committee. Among other service projects in Haiti, AFSC has provided meals for quake victims.
Nikki Barrett '08 works with Save the Children, which in the immediate aftermath of the disaster faced one of the most daunting tasks on the ground: registering children at hospitals and in camps in order to find and reunite families. Save the Children reached and assisted nearly 300,000 victims in the month following the quake.
Tori Schacht '08 is a development associate at the Salvation Army, named by the U.N. as the lead agency responsible for the well-being of an estimated 20,000 earthquake survivors. Among its tasks: registering families so that supplies can be efficiently distributed, providing shelter that meets U.N. standards and establishing clean water sources, medical services and other basic needs.
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