The story of Louidonne and Masila

by Daria Napieraj, 2013/12/23

Time and again, the 26-year-old student Daria Napieraj from Duisburg has taken a break from her student’s life, in order to work as a media coordinator for humedica in different crisis regions of the world. At the moment, she is visiting the family sponsorship program on Haiti, together with humedica member of staff Maren Walter. On her blog she reports about her experiences in this country and with its inhabitants and of the work of humedica in this Caribbean island nation.

Day 8 and 9 on Haiti

On our two last days in Port-au-Prince, we visit the families of Louidonne and Masila Michel. Both, sister and brother are in the humedica sponsorship program; together with their families, they have had an especially hard time, after the earthquake. Louidonne had lost his wife in the catastrophe. His sister Masila went blind some years ago.

Since his wife’s death, Louidonne Michel has been a single father of six children aged from four to eighteen years. After the earthquake, they didn’t have a safe place to live, or clothes to change. They couldn’t even afford enough food, during this hard time, reports Louidonne.

Since being supported by the humedica family sponsorship program, his family has been much better off. For some time now, Louidonne has been selling rice, beans and other local food. As he buys at wholesale prices and sells at retail prices, he is able to realize a small profit from this business.

However, his current circumstances cannot be compared to those before the catastrophe. At that time, Louidonne not only had a house, in which he lived with his family, but also an own warehouse. Thus, he could buy in bigger quantities and realize higher profits.

Moreover, his wife was still alive. He tells us, that he was in his commerce when the earthquake happened. His children were at school and the grandmother was caring for his only a few months old baby. His wife was in the family’s home, preparing the food, when suddenly the ceiling came down on her. Louidonne often thinks back to that day and believes that the same could happen any time again.

Then we visit his sister Masila and her family. After the earthquake, the blind woman and her children had to live in a tent for a long time. They had no shelter against the heat or the rain. So her children were often ill.

Masila, too, is doing much better since the start of the sponsorship program. She explains us that she has become stronger, more encouraged since then and that she doesn’t feel so lonely any more. She is very grateful for the humedica help, because every time when she was at a loss and asked for support, she has found someone, who would listen to her problems and fears and help her.

When we came back to the office, after having visited several other families, we got a surprise visit from Masila’s eldest son. As he had missed us before, he has come all the way just to thank us for all the help which he and his family have received in this particularly difficult time.

For him it is especially important that we should give cordial thanks to his family’s sponsors. He even gives us a personal letter of thanks for them, before setting out for his home crosstown Port-au-Prince.

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