Honorable Mention winners
Congratulations to these young humanitarians, whose entries won Honorable Mention.
Read excerpts from the two letters:
Dear President Vanderzalm,
…Money always seems to be the “help” people send to Haiti, but monetary aid has been provided to Haiti for years without significant change being made. These results show that money is not the ideal help Haiti is looking for. Sending things we buy with money (ex: food, water, materials) can be very beneficial, but not over a long period of time. These resources eventually run out, leaving people once again in starvation.
The quote, “Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime” proves my point nicely here. Haiti’s people cannot just live on the UN and other organizations’ aid forever. They need to be independent. Therefore, the help we give them needs to work towards that. Medical Teams International focuses on health and medical issues; consequently, it is most fitting to address problems in those areas with the money.
At least a portion of the $100,000 donation should be contributed to create more clinics and hospitals, but this can’t prevent citizens from sickness and diseases permanently. Haitians need to be taught how to prevent themselves from getting sick in the first place—even the basics, washing your hands and eating safe, sanitary food should be emphasized. If they don’t have running water, money would be used to provide them with such. Of course, it is not possible to supply every household in Haiti with running water, but one or two to a village is still exceptionally beneficial.
Using the fund to make these things happen will address one of the biggest obstacles for Haiti’s people—sickness. Instead of distributing antibiotics to everyone, however, this would teach them how to fend for themselves and continue to keep them healthy in the future. About $50,000 should go towards the creation of a clinic. The clinic would need to be effective, however, and Haitians should work at them, not Americans. We want the clinic to continue working just as effectively even when Americans are not giving aid. This would also provide new job opportunities, thus using the grant to make more money. The rest of the money would be used for specifics involved with teaching Haitians, such as the running water previously mentioned.
This type of response would open doors and opportunities for many Haitians. Instead of suffering and waiting for medicine, they would understand how to avoid sickness and disease in the first place. The clinic would employ many Haitians with stable jobs and most importantly, teach them how to be independent. Of course, there are many other factors to be taken into account, such as the poor shape of Haiti’s environment and the lack of hygiene that cannot possibly be fixed with a simple $100,000.This being fact, we should try to the best of our ability to fix the problems that we are actually capable of fixing. I thank you for your time and hope you will take into consideration my suggestions and thoughts.
International School of Beaverton
Teacher: Ms. Amy Schuff
Dear President Bas Vanderzalm:
…When I first heard about the Medical Teams International field trip, I already knew what to expect. It was going to be “sad.” But once I stepped into the REAL. LIFE. Exhibit, I found that it was nothing like what I expected. While looking at the drawings of Indonesian children and observing all the different exhibits, I was truly touched. I could not believe that kids just like me were dealing with such horrible crises. It showed me how fortunate I really am. We are so engulfed in the materialistic goods in our lives that we often oversee the struggles that people in other countries have to deal with on a day to day basis. With all the privileges we have, can’t we use them to help the less fortunate?
On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, a catastrophic and devastating, 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti. It left millions without shelter, food, and water…. If I were to have $100,000 to donate, I would donate it to Haiti. With an earthquake, one of the most important goals is trying to save as many lives as possible. How would one do this without proper medical care? That is why I would donate $50,000 to helping all citizens of Haiti receive medical care. We would need to use this money to purchase vaccinations, sanitary bandages, other necessities for the sick or wounded people, and for experienced doctors to come to Haiti and save these people. With more doctors and medical supplies in Haiti, people will be able to physically recover faster from the earthquake.
In order to help these people recover from this disaster, we will need more than medical supplies and doctors to help. That is why I would use $30,000 to ship in food, clean water, and other basic necessities…. I would use this money to ship many new supplies to Haiti, and also get people to donate their used items to the people there. I would try and send in gallons of clean water, tents, blankets, used clothing, and any other donations people have to offer.
When people are trying to deal with a traumatic disaster like an earthquake, they not only have to deal with physical issues, but they have to deal with emotional issues as well. What if you wake up and your whole family is dead? What if your best friend since kindergarten is lying dead underneath a crumbled building? How would you try and forget this and move on? People, especially kids, have a hard time emotionally dealing with these disasters. That is why I would spend the remaining $20,000 flying in psychologists. The psychologists would talk to the families and kids that were victims of the earthquake and help them deal with their problems. We would set up tents next to the hospitals and offer free counseling with the psychologists. I feel that in order to fully recover from such a horrific event one needs to heal both emotionally and physically. Both are equally as important….
The people of Haiti need to know that at the end of a dark tunnel, there is always a light, and there are and will always be people caring and supporting them through anything in life.
Waluga Junior High School, Lake Oswego, Oregon
Teacher: Ms. Kelly Running