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I'm Nittai Malchin, a senior at Palo Alto High School in CA and the founder of One Love Advocates. Our mission is to do whatever possible to improve access to education in communities that are struggling with destructive or endemic problems. My immediate focus is helping kids in Haiti gain access to educational opportunities. I recently traveled to Haiti, and I will be documenting my trip on this site. There are 4 sections (see navigation above) to my mini site: (1) my blog where i document my activities, impressions and thoughts from Haiti (2) About One Love where you can read more about the initiative (3) Support One Love where you can learn how to get involved, donate or help (4) contact info. And on the right sidebar you will find more info such as links to other sites, feeds, photos, videos, and ways to contact me or share One Love with others. Also, check out the cool toolbar on the bottom of your screen to see our videos, photos, and Facebook page, for translations, and more. Thank you for visiting and feel free to share your thoughts.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

As if the Earthquake wasn't enough

As I'm sure many of you know, there has been a recent outbreak of Cholera in Haiti. The death toll is nearing 600, and, unfortunately, it is likely that things will get worse before they start to get better, as it is said that 2 million Haitians are at danger. In most cases, those infected with the disease do not display symptoms, so the number of those infected with the Cholera is actually thought to be much higher than number of known cases. The recent hurricane, Hurricane Tomas, has only made things worse.

The conditions that facilitate an outbreak of the disease have been present in Haiti for a very long time. These conditions, which most importantly consist of a virtual nonexistent infrastructure, are the same conditions that made Haiti and its people so vulnerable to the January quake. Like many problems in Haiti, this epidemic would be easy to treat given the proper tools and circumstances. Haitians throughout the country, however, still do not have access to the most fundamental necessities such as clean water for drinking, bathing, cooking, and more.

During my time in Haiti, witnessing people use the filthy water that ran through the streets as drinking, bathing, or cooking water became a common event. As often as I saw this atrocity, I was never able to shake my shock from it. Bottled (or bagged) water is not the norm, as it is here at home, but rather the exception. When on the mountain, Omri, Drew, my Dad, and I didn't have access to bottled water, but we knew not to drink from untreated water. So we filtered every drop of water that we drank, using a small (and inefficient, at that) filter that we brought along, in order to avoid any sort of illness. The locals, however, do not take these precautions, and expose themselves to dangerous situations (that said, they are probably more resilient as well) . Thus, it does not come as a surprise that an outbreak of cholera is possible.

It's my greatest hope that this epidemic is stopped, so that the innocent Haitian people do not need to endure any more suffering than they already have. We mustn't give up on Haiti, as even the most basic, fundamental things can make an enormous difference in the people's lives. Clean water and education about diseases can literally save thousands of lives, and it is our responsibility, as fellow human beings, to try our best to provide Haitians with these things.

One Love.