Helping kids cope during crisis: What do we tell them?

“Will we have an earthquake in Cambridge?”
That’s one of the questions my students asked during a discussion about the earthquake. You can bet that in numerous schools and households throughout the country, the same question is being asked. It’s important that adults address children’s concerns during this difficult time. Here are some suggestions from Dr. David Fassler, a child and adolescent psychiatrist practicing in Vermont.

Help needed! Translate messages from victims for emergency responders

The Center for Future Civic Media at MIT has reached out the BHR and our staff and readers for help with a new database intended to help get emergency responders to Haiti's earthquake victims. A new text/SMS code — 4636— is being employed in Haiti to help coordinate emergency response to those in need. We are asking all of our Creole-English speaking readers to help with this effort ASAP. Please follow the directions carefully.

Here is a brief backgrounder from Christopher Csikszentmihalyi, who is directing MIT's efforts on the project:

A troubling call from Les Cayes

(2:20 p.m.)- Our newsroom just received a call from Renel Louis Jean, 22, who is in Au Cayes and is desperately looking for help. He has left Port-au-Prince, where he was when the earthquake hit, with a group of survivors.
His says mother Alourdes Pierre and his father, Jeanty Louis Jean, were killed in the earthquake and have been buried in Carrefour, just outside Port-au-Prince, where he is from.
“They are still picking up bodies from the streets,” he said. “We are not getting any help.”
Les Cayes is located several hours away from Haiti's capitol.

Bi-partisan push for help: Obama taps Clinton-Bush for new Haiti fund

The White House has announced today that two former presidents —Bill Clinton and George W. Bush — will head up a new fund.
Here is the statement from the fund's website.

Statement by President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush

"We are deeply saddened by the devastation and suffering caused by the recent earthquake in Haiti. The people of Haiti are in our thoughts and prayers.

In Delmas, it's Haitians helping Haitians with no sign of outside help

Boston transplant Rich Innocent relays a tale of survival, teamwork among the people of Delmas
Richardson Innocent: Proud Bostonian, Haitian now searching for survivors in DelmasRichardson Innocent: Proud Bostonian, Haitian now searching for survivors in DelmasFor the third consecutive night, Richardson Innocent will rest his head tonight underneath a tree in Delmas, a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. There’s a machete and a chisel close by his side. Clustered around him is his cousin, Norton, and a frightened family he has known for only a few weeks.
All over the neighborhood, a rumor has spread that another aftershock is coming tonight at midnight. No one will sleep indoors for fear of being entombed in rubble like so many others all around them if another one hits.
Innocent, 36, isn’t sure what to think any more. A longtime Boston resident who just moved back to his native Haiti last month, he’s not the superstitious type. But, after the events of the last 60 hours, he’s not taking any chances. He and a group of nine others will sleep under the tree tonight, far enough away from a nearby house, one of the few still standing in Delmas 35.
In the morning, Richardson and his cousin will rise early and hit the streets of this community on the outskirts of Haiti’s destroyed capitol city. They will spend their daylight hours searching for survivors and for supplies to help feed their friends and neighbors.
Every able-bodied person in the neighborhood is doing their part. Without any discernable help from the outside world — there are no rescue teams, no soldiers, no heavy equipment in Delmas yet— Haitians are helping Haitians.

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