New Brunswicker returns to Haiti after earthquake
When a massive earthquake hit Haiti three years ago this weekend hundreds of aid workers rushed to help, including a New Brunswick doctor who will return to the devastated country this week.
Colleen O'Connell and her husband Jeff Campbell have a close attachment to the country. In 2005 they adopted their sons Samuel and Venel from there. It took less than a week after the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake before both were on the ground helping out.
Their organization, Team Canada Healing Hands, focuses on rehabilitating catastrophic injuries and also teaches Haitians to do the medical work themselves.
O'Connell will return on Tuesday.
"This particular project, there's two aspects; one is working on collaborative strategies for taking care of persons with spinal chord injury," she said. "We're partnering with most of the organizations who are in Haiti, who are taking care of persons with spinal chord injury."
While the couple is committed to Haiti's restoration, not everyone is so willing to help.
Earlier this month Julian Fantino told a Montreal newspaper he wanted to freeze aid to Haiti, only to have his department, the Canadian International Development Agency, backtrack to explain it was conducting a thorough review of Canada's $1-billion contribution to the Caribbean country.
O'Connell said freezing aid would be a mistake.
She said there needs to be accountability, but has seen first-hand some of the progress.