Friday 19 March 2010
In the 45 seconds that it took for a 7.0 magnitude earthquake to devastate Haiti on Tuesday 12 January, Ebed Cadet, 13, and his two sisters Mimose, 16 and Schnaida, 8, lost their mother.
The family lives on the small island of La Gonave, off the west coast of Haiti. While the children were some distance from the epicentre, they felt its impact 2 days later when they found out their mother was one of the hundreds of thousands killed.
Their mother had a hospital appointment at the time and was staying with her brother in Leogane, the city closest to the epicentre of the quake. The house collapsed while she was inside. She did not survive the impact.
“I felt so helpless and discouraged when I heard the news,” said Mimose. “We think about her every day. She used to do everything for us, cook for us, wash our clothes, organise our school uniforms. We have to do it all ourselves now.”
She took care of them well and it showed even in her absence. The children were neat – she had just done the children’s hair before she left. But they were clearly suppressed by sadness and loss of their mother.
Ebed, shocked by the news of his mother, said as he fought off tears: “I had pain in my stomach when I heard about mum. I do not feel well at all anymore.” He looks into the distance, possibly running his last memories of her in his mind.
Their father, Myloge, is also struggling to cope with the loss: “I miss her. She was really the head of this family. After she died everything has changed.”
“She was everything for us.”
The family has taken in 5 additional family members since the earthquake and World Vision has provided them with food supplies and extra mattresses from pre-positioned relief supplies to help them cope with the extra burden.
With their mother gone forever, the children will need the support of their friends and family as they walk into an uncertain future.
Ebed and Mimose are both sponsored by Australian supporters through World Vision’s Pacodes Area Development Programme. Hopefully through child sponsorship and World Vision’s work in the community children like Eded, Mimose and their younger sister Schnaida will be able to realise their hopes for the future. Maybe Ebed will become the scientists he dreams to be and Mimose will chase her keen interest in biology to study agronomy at university.
Read latest updates about World Vision’s response and children sponsored by Australians here.
You can donate to the Haiti earthquake appeal here.