|Human Interest Story Haiti: Yveline Telson|
By Marie-Eve Bertrand
November 11, 2010
Yveline walks up to me with a nice smile. She is smiling but I can tell she is reserved. As we walk into the house, I notice that all of their belongings are stored on the table, on the higher cupboards or shelters. “When Tomas approached, CARE staff brought a speakerphone and told us to get prepared. We have stored our things and therefore did not lose too much. The rain and water filled the streets and our house,” Yveline says. She shows me the mark on the wall, indicating the water level. Three feet high… I am surprised that no one drowned in this community.
Yveline is one of the 333 kids that CARE sends to school here in Gonaïves. She has been in the project for six years and is really thankful for the help her family gets from CARE. “My dream is to be a doctor because I want to help my community and other people who are disadvantaged. I know it is a lot of work, but thanks to CARE’s generous donors, I have been able to concentrate on my studies. My family supports me, and I know that one day I will do good work,” Yveline tells me.
I asked her about cholera and the situation in Gonaïves. She tells me about what they have learned so far with the prevention training: "Cholera is an illness that is treatable and preventable. People need to wash their hands, disinfect their house if someone is sick, and give them rehydration salts. It should not kill so many people. The problem is that we have little sanitation infrastructure, and now with Tomas’ flooding it is even worse. And we need to make sure that we should not abandon those who are sick. They need help!" When looking at her, you see that she does care for her neighbors. She is volunteering with CARE, attending meetings and training. She wants to make a difference in her world. She is smart and caring.
Some friends have asked me if Haitians feel like God has abandoned them and I ask her this question.. ‘No! God is here, it is just that we have very poor land management. We cut too many trees with no plans, and did not pay attention to our natural resources. Now, it is our infrastructure that is missing. We do not have enough gutters, and we do not care enough for our environment,’ says Rosetta as she looks at me…
We walked outside of her parent’s house, and jumped on stones to avoid stepping in the mud that covers their yard. And now, she’s off to the streets filled with waste and mud. She is trying to see how she can help spread information on how to prevent cholera. And I wonder how many other young Yvelines did not have the chance to to go to school and won’t be able to live their dreams.
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