As the tragedy in Haiti unfolds, let’s give some thought to the incredible challenges facing the rescue and recovery workers who are among the first responders. They are facing hazardous, unhealthy work conditions. They are dealing with death and severe casualties as a matter of course. They are surrounded by people who have experienced devastating trauma and lost family and friends and homes.
With upwards of 50,000 fatalities and even more injured and sick, these workers will carry deeply ingrained memories of this chapter for the rest of their lives. Some will need counseling and assistance to help them recover from the experience.
These people are doing heroic work, toiling in the face of relentless loss and sadness in order to get to that day when rebuilding this impoverished nation becomes a realistic prospect.
There are many, many excellent charitable organizations collecting donations to help Haiti. Especially for fellow Bostonians, I’ll plug one of them, Partners in Health, where Brandie Conforti, an advisory committee member of the New Workplace Institute, happens to work as a development officer: http://www.pih.org/home.html