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Older Haitians keep the faith

25 Mar 2010

For older people in Petit-Goave food and shelter are of much help, but some needs go beyond the tangible.

Older women gather on Friday at the ruins of what used to be the Catholic Church of Petit-Goave. They were there to take part in the Way of the Cross which is organised every Friday during Lent.

This year, this has taken on a lot more meaning for these older people. They are very attached to their faith and although the building is no longer there, destroyed by the earthquake, they hope God is listening to them.

Events beyond comprehension

"This is where I was baptised, this is where I had my first communion" said one older women, her rosary in hand. "I was sitting at this very spot beside my husband when we got married 40 years ago" said another.

For older people, what happened on 12 January is beyond comprehension. They are very disoriented, because they have no point of reference or comparison. The devastation caused by the earthquake is unprecedented.

Still searching for lost family

Some of the older women at the Way of Cross came from the St-Jean de Dieu nursing home, which is receiving much needed relief from HelpAge, among other institutions. Nicolas, a 65 year old resident of the nursing home is quite worried about his mother, who is 90 and lives in Martissant near Port-au-Prince. He would like to send her his picture to let her know that he is doing well.

Another older woman, is worried about her relatives in Port-au-Prince. She would be so happy to know what happened to them. But she has not heard from them and this is causing her much pain.

Older people are very worried about the future of their country. They need to be reassured that Haiti will be a better country for their children and their grandchildren.

Read more about HelpAge's work in Haiti. 

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Author profile

Bertin Meance
Country: Haiti
Job title: Program Support Manager

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These blogs are personal reflections and do not necessarily reflect the views of HelpAge International.