Home from Haiti with mixed feelings

Home from Haiti with mixed feelings

1 hour, 15 minutes ago

SASKATCHEWAN (CBC) – A Saskatchewan contingent of a group that has been helping with the relief effort in Haiti returned home Tuesday night.ADVERTISEMENT

Members of Western Canada Relief for Haiti spent the past few weeks in the country, which was hit by a devastating earthquake in January.

They provided volunteer support in a number of communities, working in orphanages and helping to set up medical clinics.

One of the members of the group, Carlos Petit-Homme, is originally from the country.

“The resources we had were small,” Petit-Homme said about the trip. “But the difference we made in the people’s lives was enormous.”

He said some of the people they helped had not received any aid since the quake.

On Tuesday night he said he was happy to be back home in Regina, but was anguished over what he left behind.

“Tonight I’m going to be sleeping in my bed with my family. They’re going to be happy,” he said. “But I’ve also left a thousand children who will say, ‘Where are those Canadians that were here helping us out? They’re not there.’ And that’s not going to change.”

Another member of the team, Roland Lafrance, said every day was a different experience. He recalled that one day they helped a group of children who desperately needed some basic cleansing to ensure wounds would heal properly without infection.

“Can you imagine: 60 kids being washed,” Lafrance recalled. “Lice, fleas, they had everything. So we cleaned their wounds.”

Lafrance said the country was still in a general state of chaos, with no electricity at night, many open fires and constant noise.

Petit-Homme said the group would like to go back to Haiti in June and help build permanent structures for people there.

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