Before that happens, Haitians must have enough water to sustain them. That’s where Ancaster Rotarian Roy Sheldrick comes in. He has worked in Haiti for more than 15 years as leader of Haiti Water for Life, building wells to provide Haitians with clean drinking water, which is especially crucial to survival after disaster. While destruction and chaos abound, “water can keep you going,” said Sheldrick, adding not one of the 189 wells he had helped build previous to the earthquake was destroyed. “I’m so pleased,” he said. “That’s wonderful.”
But there is much work to be done to help the Haitian people, whose situation is “heartwrenching” to Sheldrick, who worked with many Haitians in Artibonite Valley, about 70 miles from the earthquake zone. The Albert Schweitzer hospital has become a point of refuge for Haitians, but is low on medical supplies. Sheldrick said doctors performing surgeries had run out of morphine and that proceeds would go to purchasing supplies and helping earthquake victims at the hospital. Though no one he knew died in the earthquake, 10 students sponsored by the Rotary Club survived. Two were missing, but were found and are expected to survive.
“I have no idea how they’re going to rebuild the lives of over one million people or what they’re going to do to replace (infrastructure).”
As for his contacts in Haiti, “they’re working 24 hours a day.”
The Canadian government is matching donations made between January 12 and February 12. Any donations handed to the Ancaster Rotary Club or other organizations dedicated to assisting disaster relief in Haiti will be eligible. Donors can give online through www.CanadaHelps.org or writing a cheque to the Rotary Club of Ancaster, 3-35 Stone Church Road, Ancaster, L9K 1S5. Contact Sheldrick at 905-648-4339.