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Local Haiti helper returns home

Haiti, January 29, 2010

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January, 2010

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BOSTON -- A Boston-based relief worker has seen the disaster in Haiti firsthand.

Mercy Corps aid worker Jenny Vaughan recently returned from the devastated nation, where she spent two weeks in Port-Au-Prince delivering aid to earthquake victims.

“It just looked absolutely unimaginable even though it was there right before my eyes, walls had been blown out, the ceilings and floors were stacked right up on top of each other like a layer cake, it was absolutely unreal,” Vaughan said.

She was one of the first mercy corps team members to arrive.

“The streets were full of ruble, every available space was filled up with tarps and tents and blankets that people were camping in. At night people would line one side of the street to sleep and the other side of the street would be left empty for the cars to pass,” Vaughan said.

Part of the agency’s mission included coordinating food distribution.

“The largest hospital in Port-au-Prince, had access to not enough food for their patients and staff so we worked with the world food program to get access to food…ultimately we were able to provide them with enough food to feed a thousand people,” said Vaughan.

And those with the agency know that while work is being done, there is a long road ahead.

“I think the American people have been incredibly generous and we have to keep that focus up for the long term because this will not go away in the next month when the cameras leave,” she said.

The agency says they are focusing on long term recovery, including boosting economic recovery and helping children cope with the trauma of this disaster.