Here’s a window into just how bad things are for people in Haiti right now, from, of all sources, a CONCACAF (North America’s soccer federation) press release ahead of the women’s U-17 World Cup qualifier tournament set to begin Wednesday:
When the CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Champion opens Wednesday in Costa Rica, the United States will be favored. Haiti will be everybody’s favorite.
Less than two months after a 7.0 earthquake rocked the impoverished nation of 9 million, killing by some official estimates as many as 270,000, the girls of Haiti will carry the country’s flag into competition. All of them now are homeless, including one – starting goalkeeper Madeline Delice – who has become an orphan. . . .
“The country is destroyed,” Berry said. “The girls were in the street. It took two weeks to get them together at the Project Goal so they could be fed, get them some water and train.”
Berry said all of the players were left without homes, and Delice, from the southern coastal city of Leogane which was the epicenter of the quake and where approximately 80 percent of the buildings were destroyed, lost both her mother and father. . . .
While expressing gratitude to the Dominican Republic and Panama for their generosity to enable them to train, Berry said the girls feel a sense of guilt that they have food, water and shelter and are training while those in Haiti have death and despair tugging at their elbow.
The first round of the CONCACAF championship will run through March 15 with the winner to be crowned five days later. After that, the fate of the Haitian team is unknown.
“As of now, we do not have a plan,” Berry said. “The fear now is they will go back to the streets. They don’t have a bed or know where their next meal is coming from. I have heard they may go back to the Project Goal, but I don’t know if there is enough water or food there.”