The Mother Figure of Morne Lazarre

The Mother Figure of Morne Lazarre

Haitian activist Rea Dol isn't waiting for outside help to feed and care for a poor and neglected Port-au-Prince neighborhood. (NYT)

Almost nothing is left of Morne Lazarre, one of the hardest hit areas of Port-au Prince, Haiti. The earthquake flattened the poor hillside neighborhood, leaving only the school building standing as a place of refuge. Long-time community organizer and founder of the school, Rea Dol, is leading a one-woman rescue effort to bring food and supplies to the people there, who have been largely overlooked by the big relief organizations. While many Haiti video reports can be overwhelming to watch and digest, this focus on Dol gives us a manageable handle on the bigger picture by emphasizing the good works of one individual and her impact on the community.

Dol’s efforts bring hope to the remaining children who attend the school. Many students are known to have perished in the quake and many more are still unaccounted for in the rubble. The bags of beans and rice that Dol buys herself and hauls in her brother’s pickup truck are a lifeline for the working-class people who are attempting to stay in their neighborhood and rebuild rather than join the thousands housed in giant tent cities elsewhere.

This New York Times video is a testament to what individual Haitians are accomplishing without the help of their government or outside groups. Dol’s deliveries address the immediate need to not only feed the hungry, but to keep neighborhoods together through mutual support. That’s the underlying benefit of her small-scale charity work.

CHANNEL: New York Times

Length: 5:47

By Erik Olsen and Sean Patrick Farrell