Activitiy news

19.09.2010, 14:29 hrs
Age: 7 Year(s)

Visiting the Order of Saint John in Port au Prince

Fourth report – Friday Sept 17th 2010

It’s 6.30 a.m. In this foreign world my alarm rings just as it does at home. But everything is different. I know the agenda for this day. We will visit four stations, if the traffic allows it.
We’re getting on the road. The gate is opening, and there it is again, a world full of debris, ashes, and suffering. Here, the world is already turning, as if these people never sleep. We will need two hours to reach Leogane, which is record-breaking fast for the distance of 50 km, as we learn.
Far away from this „main street“, we are driving onto the large site of the Order of Saint Johns’ First Aid. We could fill pages about each of these stations, but we will try to keep it short. The Order of Saint Johns’ is on site with five ambulance vehicles (MICUs) from Hamburg and Hannover. They have big tents, lots of equipment, and people of whom there are all too few in this world. They gave up their hometowns in order to help needy people around the world. Three of the MICUs are outbound in this moment. Each week, they are servicing 15 stations – mostly makeshift tent camps – in order to offer mobile help. Staffed to a half with native nurses, the other half with German experts they want to pass their know-how on to the local people within the next three years (planned stay of the Order of St. John in Haiti). The MICUs will stay in Haiti as a contribution to the region.
Cornelia, a young orthopaedist, shows us the basics of prosthesis fabrication. She shows us a list of 245 names, all people who have lost their legs. They manage to build about three to five artificial limbs per week. The artificial limbs are high-tech, manufactured in a container with tons of special equipment. Each day new patients are added to the list. Cornelia does not believe that it will be possible to make all those prosthesis within three years. A young woman will get her leg today. The radiance and happiness in her eyes seem out of this world in this gruesome environment…
At this station we have seen little misery but a lot of hope. Haiti disappeared from daily news reports, first aid was provided, but it is much more important to offer these people a future perspective. This will cost billions. In which many ways money is needed, we experienced here in an impressive manner. On my part, I never thought about the fact that an artificial limb can save a life. These people can now move around, again, are able to work, and to regain their self-esteem.

It will take years until the people of Haiti can live in dignity. At every corner you see suffering and hardship, but also chances. There are many relief organizations and volunteers doing great work, everyday. Unfortunately, we will not be able to support all of them. Therefore, we want to concentrate on a project which we can accompany long term with financial, mental and hands-on support in order to make the lives of many easier. We were introduced to many possible projects. In the upcoming days we will present a project which we want to support with your help. On part of Wunderland we want to fill the jar, and we are hoping for your support, as well. If you wish to donate money, you can, of course.
Beneficiary: Aktion Deutschland hilft e.V.
Subject: Miniatur Wunderland hilft Haiti
Donation account IBAN (Swift) DE62 3702 0500 0000 1020 30
Bank für Sozialwirtschaft, BIC: BFSWDE33XXX


The Haitians were not only physically injured, but also emotionally. These people have lost relatives, limbs and other body parts, and all too often their hope. The Order of Saint Johns is supporting them with two psychosocial attendants.


The centre of the Order of Saint Johns is located in the harbour town Leogane, about 15 km to the west of Port au Prince. 10.000 people of 200.000 were killed in the earthquake. 80 – 90 percent of buildings destroyed. Ten-thousands were injured, some of them severely.

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