During our spring term all Year 8 classes had the delight of receiving a visit from Mr David Thomas who is a volunteer for Christian Aid. During this visit we focused on the earthquake in Haiti, how it occurred, the aftermath and what Christian Aid did to help the citizens of Haiti.
Firstly we looked the background of Haiti regarding its location, population and financial circumstances. From a brief description of Haiti by Mr Thomas we were able to understand that Haiti was populated by around 9.8 million people, it is in the Caribbean and it is a very poor country.
Secondly we looked at the cause behind the earthquake, we learnt that on January 12th 2010 the island of Haiti was struck by a horrific earthquake. This was caused by slippage between the Caribbean and North American plates, the slippage resulted in an earthquake of 7 magnitudes. The epicentre of the earthquake was located 25KM west of the country’s capital, Port-au-Prince.
Thirdly we looked at the devastation caused by the earthquake, for example we discussed all the buildings that were destroyed in the destructive earthquake such as hospitals, airports and ports. Every group got to participate in two activities. To begin with each group was each group was given a certain amount of cocktails sticks, marshmallows and a piece of paper either reading 100 or 200, with these resources we had to construct a tower that was both stable and tall. If we needed any more marshmallows or cocktail sticks we would need to hand over our slip of paper. The purpose of this exercise was to use the things that were given to us to make something that could withstand a natural disaster. Then after a quick talk we were given a blank map of Port-au-Prince which was split up into numbered sections and a list of important buildings/places, we had to decide where we thought would be the best place to construct them, then Mr Thomas would call out a number which would correspond with a section of a map and if you had placed any buildings in that section they would be wiped out. The objective of this was to be the team with the most buildings left, the reason behind this activity was to show us that an earthquake can strike anywhere at any point.
Finally we were given a talk about the aftermath of the earthquake and how Christian Aid helped with the situation. We were shown videos of people talking about their experience seeing the earthquake and photos of the devastation caused. We were told all the wonderful things that Christian Aid has done for the citizens such as giving the Haitians resources to build new homes and chickens as a food source etc.
Overall, I believe all the year eight’s had a wonderful experience learning about natural disasters and the work that Christian Aid does to help others, a big thanks was given to Mr David Thomas for taking the time to visit our school to teach us about these things.
By Safia Dendani 8R