Haitian-American Working on Behalf of San Diego-Based Nonprofit Shares Her Firsthand Accounts From Port-au-Prince

Jan 26, 2010, 15:51 ET from Project Concern International

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For Pascale Wagner, a member of Project Concern International (PCI)'s Emergency Response Team, returning to her native country of Haiti has been a tumultuous yet inspiring experience. Many of her family members and friends lived through the catastrophic January 12 earthquake, including her 81-year-old father.

"My father has refused to leave the house and has stayed behind - there was no convincing him to leave," said Wagner. "His argument is that he had survived the Dresden bombardment [of World War II] and other ordeals, and that he could handle this new disaster."

Since arriving in Port-au-Prince on January 14, Wagner has been playing an integral role in managing PCI's relief efforts and ensuring that vitally needed aid reaches the survivors. She sends regular updates to her colleagues and loved ones via Skype, Facebook, and email, including the following observation from last week:

"I find that you need to set yourself on automatic mode and keep very busy in order to go on. You can't be thinking too much about all the awful stories you hear, the devastation you see, the apocalyptic scenes that surround you. You can't look too long into anyone's eyes or wonder about their hunger, thirst and anxiety for today and the future; and mostly you do not let the stench register in your mind. If you do, strength might fade, and the emotions would be overwhelming. Yet, at night we hear neighbors in devastated shanty towns singing and clapping. What do they have in them that I am missing?"

PCI is in Haiti working with local and international partners to meet survivors' most urgent needs. The San Diego-based health and humanitarian organization is reaching more than 60,000 patients in Port-au-Prince, Leogane, and Jacmel through the distribution of $6 million vital emergency supplies, medicines, and medical equipment to hospitals, clinics, and other health providers.

PCI is also helping to provide survivors with food, water, hygiene kits, kitchen sets, and jerry cans. In addition, PCI is working with local organizations to establish the infrastructure needed to streamline the delivery of supplies and aid in the coming weeks, and to develop programs for addressing gender-based violence, protection for women and children, economic recovery, water and sanitation, and shelters for the displaced.

To donate to PCI's Haiti Relief Fund, please contact us at 1-877-PCI-HOPE (1-877-724-4673) or give online at www.ProjectConcern.org.

Follow PCI on Twitter (http://twitter.com/projectconcern) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Project-Concern-International/38603229664) to get the latest information as it happens. For more information about PCI, visit www.ProjectConcern.org.


Project Concern International (www.ProjectConcern.org) is an international health and humanitarian organization dedicated to building healthy communities by preventing disease, improving community health, and promoting sustainable development. PCI is headquartered in San Diego, CA, with additional offices in Washington DC and Seattle, WA and current program operations in 15 countries around the world.  With 49 years of experience, Project Concern International reaches an estimated 4.5 million people annually through life-saving programs in Asia, Africa, and the Americas.

Contact: Alexandra Stamm

(858) 279-9690 ext. 322


Contact: Bonnie Maratea

(858) 279-9690 ext. 326


SOURCE Project Concern International