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Providing a lifeline

Haiti, July 2, 2010

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  <span class="field-credit">
    Fabiola Coupet/Mercy Corps  </span>
    Elianne Lazard, 34, supervises a cash-for-work team in Haiti. Photo: Fabiola Coupet/Mercy Corps

Elianne Lazard supervises her cash-for-work team at the Carradeux camp as they clear a drainage ditch under a glaring sun. Like many other survivors, she is grateful to have work to do together. “We help each other through the day,” says Elianne, 34.

Everyone here is struggling to start over. “Before January 12, we weren’t rich, but we were doing okay,” Elianne says of her family. “Life is very different now. I’ve lost my home and my husband. My five children have lost their father. Sometimes I feel like getting angry, but all we can do is accept the challenges life brings and move forward. We’re still here — we have to be thankful for that.”

Before the quake, Elianne sold foods like canned milk and rice to support her family. Today, her cash-for-work wages will go first toward feeding her children. Then, she says, “The number-one thing I plan to do is to start my small business again. I have to think ahead and somehow make this money grow. It’s the first lifeline I’ve been blessed with since that tragic day. Thank you to everyone who supported Mercy Corps to make this happen.”