Sunday, January 24, 2010

Teach barefoot for Haiti


Flagler College students in St. Augustine, Fla., have been working in recent days to aid victims of the devastating 7.3-magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti at 4:53 p.m. on Jan. 12.
Several events are planned in the coming weeks, including a candlelight vigil set for early Tuesday evening. I plan to teach barefoot that day on Monday and Tuesday to help remind my students that Haitians are suffering and that some of their classmates and teachers at Flagler College are trying to help.

Above, Haiti-related events at Flagler College

People around the world are helping Haitians recover from the deadliest earthquake ever to hit the Western Hemisphere.
The toll so far, Haitian officials say:
* 111,4999 dead
* 193,891 injured
* 609,000 homeless.
Those numbers will certainly rise in the coming months. Haitian officials say it's possible the death toll will reach 200,000. That would move the quake into a tie for the fifth deadliest earthquake in recorded history based on U.S. Geological Survey numbers.
Some disaster officials even talk about the possibility of a half million dead, which would make the quake the second deadliest ever.
What's certain, Haitian officials say, is that they will never know for sure how many people were killed.
Unicef and the International Committee of the Red Cross are among the many organizations that are helping those who survived.
If you want to donate $10 to the Red Cross right now, just text "HAITI" and send it to 90999.
Haitians need all the help they can get, I know. I traveled to Haiti as a journalist in February 2004 just before Jean-Bertrand Aristide left the country. I saw a nation torn by poverty, violence and political mayhem.
It was a mess - and that was before the huge earthquake devastated Port-au-Prince.
The photos coming out of Haiti now are heartbreaking. I plan to show some of them to my students on Tuesday Monday and Tuesday.
And if anyone asks why I'm barefoot, I'll just tell them it's for Haiti.

A man carries a coffin through the streets of Port-au-Prince. Photo credit: Michael Appleton/The New York Times
A young woman prays near the collapsed National Cathedral in Port-au-Prince. Photo credit: AP Photo/The Miami Herald, Patrick Farrell.
A U.S. Navy helicopter takes off in front of the National Palace in Port-au-Prince. Photo credit: AP Photo/Gregory Bull.
Haitians reach out for goods thrown from a shop in Port-au-Prince. Photo credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images.
View of a devastated neighborhood. Photo credit: REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz.
An injured woman. Photo credit: AP Photo/Jorge Cruz.
Another victim of the quake. Photo credit: AP Photo/Montreal La Presse, Ivanoh Demers.
Link to the Web sites where I found these photos:
The Big Picture, the Boston Globe photo blog
Captured, a Denver Post news photo blog

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