The heartbreaking aftermath of last year’s earthquake continues to devastate the people of Haiti. Outbreaks of life-threatening illnesses like cholera plague the country, adding to the urgent need for reconstruction.
On Wednesday, January 12, 2011 there will be a special program to commemorate the one year anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti. Members of the community are asked to come together to pay tribute to the 200,000 people who lost their lives and the 1.3 million who are still left homeless, living in tents and makeshift homes. The observance will take place in the Carl A. Fields Center of Princeton University from 4:30 to 6:30 pm. At 4:53 pm – the exact time of the earthquake – thirty seconds of silence will be held (the duration of the earthquake), followed by special songs, music, poetry reading and a tribute to victims of the earthquake. A hauntingly beautiful photography exhibit by Wayne Dixon (Wayne Dixon Photography) captures both the devastation and triumphant spirit of Haiti’s people. Information on the status of Haiti today will be presented, and steps of how members of the community can get involved in the re-building efforts will be available. The event is being organized by members of the Haitian Diaspora community who want to continue raising awareness of the ongoing reconstruction needs of the country.
Community members are encouraged to contribute pennies toward the Pennies for Clean Water Project. It takes only .007 cents to buy a water purification tablet that provides 20 liters of clean, safe drinking water to fight cholera. All proceeds and donations from the Pennies for Clean Water Project will go to the Foundation for Peace, a New Jersey-based non-profit organization, and be used toward the recently established Cholera Clinic in Haiti.
In a show of compassion and generosity, local sponsors for the event include Princeton University Community House, The Little Chef Pastry Shop, Thurin Atelier Luxury Bridal Design House, Taft & Partners, LLC, Canape-Vert Foundation, and Romyoga, as well as the Haitian Diaspora community of Princeton.
Come not simply to honor the lives that were lost or irretrievably impacted by the earthquake, but also to celebrate the triumph of human spirit. Come to remember, honor, and enjoy Haitian food and culture at the reception that will follow the program. Please take the opportunity to see what you can do to help and bring the children…it is an event for everyone.
Cary Sullivan is a freelance writer, editorial consultant, and community volunteer. She enjoyed a variety of editorial roles during her 25 years in corporate publishing, and holds a degree in Creative Writing from Florida State University. She moved to Hopewell from New York City with her husband and son nine years ago.