24 Days until The Games.
It has officially been one week since a horrific earthquake shook the small nation of Haiti. As time continues to stretch out, the death toll rises, and new stories of loss emerge from the dust and rubble. The world has been faced with a truly tragic situation.
Here in Canada, one of the strongest advocates for sending aid to Haiti has been our Governor General, Her Excellency The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean. It is no coincidence that she is also the patron of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce. Over the years, she has earned a reputation for her compassion and humanitarian endeavours. The disaster in Haiti, however, is particularly close to her heart, as she herself was born there.
By this point, we have all heard the stories of entrapment in collapsed buildings, of violent confrontations and gut-wrenching desperation. We have seen images of children, faces white with dust, eyes wide, and men and women reduced to begging for help of any kind.
I can only imagine the emotions Michaëlle Jean - or any other Haitian - must feel as images of the suffering in her homeland pour through the media. I feel terrified when I close my eyes and imagine Vancouver undergoing such destruction. In addition to this terror, however, I feel an immense desire to reach out and help.
The Olympic Truce calls for us to "make our own peace". The earthquake in Haiti provides a somber opportunity to reach out into the world and give back, and the opportunities to do so are plentiful. You can text HAITI to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross, or visit www.freethechildren.com/donate/haiti-earthquake-relief-fund to donate through Free The Children.
You can also follow Free The Children Leader, Craig Kielburger's, experiences in Haiti on Youtube (www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfRcVjeg0BA) and on Twitter (twitter.com/craigkielburger).
To learn more about The Olympic Truce, you can visit www.olympictruce.org or www.vancouver2010.com/more-2010-information/winter-games-history/olympic-truce/vancouver-2010-olympic-truce-patron
Lastly, to view Michaëlle Jean's emotional statement on the disaster, you can visit here: