You are here: The Observer
|Students Raise Funds for Haiti Quake Victims
January 27, 2009 - Daniel McCormac
Deree College students are joining efforts to raise money for Haiti, devastated by an earthquake on January 12. Ten days after the quake, the Haitian government numbered the dead at 150,000.
Over half a million people have been left homeless in what was the poorest country in the Americas even before the earthquake.
As Haitians – many injured and grieving the loss of family members – struggle to survive amid the rubble of Port-au-Prince and other heavily populated areas, without clean water, electricity, food, or medical care, people around the world have rushed to provide assistance.
The Deree Ambassadors are manning a collection box in the corridor of the main building of the Aghia Paraskevi campus, giving students and staff members a chance to contribute to the relief efforts.
The box will be in either the corridor or the Student Success Center every day until the end of the winter session.
All the money collected will be given to one or more humanitarian organizations running medical aid operations in Haiti, or deposited in the Haiti relief account that has been opened by the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The student fund-raising drive is in keeping with the College’s tradition of community service, said Chris Koutras, director of student affairs.
And it comes in response to one of the worst peacetime catastrophes in modern history. Houses and government buildings in Port-au-Prince collapsed in the magnitude 7 quake, turning the capital into a vast tomb. Many who emerged from the rubble alive lost limbs.
On January 25, the Miami Herald reported that Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive estimated his country of 9.7 million people needed 200,000 tents to shelter the homeless, with the start of the rainy season just over a week away.
Restoring Haiti, where 2007 per capita income was US $560, even to its pre-quake status could take years. “In 30 seconds, Haiti lost 60 percent of its GDP,” the Miami Herald quoted Bellerive as saying. “We need to review the whole country.”