Liberty and Equality for the Children of Haiti
By Dialogo April 12, 2010The thirty boys and girls of the Liberté-Égalité (Liberty-Equality) orphanage in Port-au-Prince are happy to see anyone in uniform – in our case, a group of military personnel from the United States Southern Command and a reporter from Diálogo – because they know that they are going to receive aid in the form of clothing, food, and medicine. Liberté-Égalité is run by a French non-governmental organization of the same name that also administers a school in Port-au-Prince. More than a thousand non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have worked in Haiti since the 12 January earthquake. The director of the orphanage, Marie Christine Bayle, who has worked for the institution in Haiti for more than ten years, explains that without the aid from military personnel from different parts of the world, the NGO would not be able to keep the school and the orphanage functioning. “The military personnel are here not to make war, but on a peace mission. In addition, they always come, like today, to distribute contributions that they have often made themselves. It’s emotionally moving.” The children at the Liberté-Égalité orphanage are adopted only by individuals in France and Haiti, but there are many other adoption organizations open to any country. “Now that the situation is even more complicated, due to the devastation of the earthquake, it’s very important that the little ones find a home,” Marie Christine said.