January 17, 2018
Haiti remembrance day 5
Since Monday I've been attending a fantastic fellowship at the Dart Center for #Journalism and Trauma at #Columbia University and we've been addressing apart form trauma healing as well, something so important for the ongoing needs in Haiti.
The photo of these two children has been on my mind quite a bit since I began posting this series of photos from Haiti. I took it in the Petionviille camp for the displaced. Although it had more resources than other camps, it was an incredibly difficult place to live with drinkable water scarce and rain water abundant that leaked through tents making it impossible to sleep and further inundated the camp creating a hard muddy existence.
The effect on children was severe. For much of the time when I looked at them I didn't see them as children but as people much older, battered and disillusioned by the hard life of living in an impoverished IDP camp. The picture of the girl following this photo waiting at a water pump exemplified that for me.
In the same camp, however was a remarkable yoga program run by an NGO which unfortunately I've forgotten the name of. I took an extensive series of portraits of the children feeling their breaths closing their eyes. Free of responsibility, pain and burden, they were children again. The yoga, #meditation and caring of the people who put this program together gave that back to them.
I think a lot can be learnt from this program of #healing. In situations of such dire need it's understandable to perhaps perceive a yoga program as frivolous—it's anything but. It addresses essential mental health issues that far often go overlooked and targets issues that can cause debilitating #PTSI #PTSD in the future.
Having documented the hardship that people go though I feel it's equally if not even more important to also identify programs and strategies that help people past their #trauma, something that I will be devoting a lot more time to in the coming year and years.