The January 12 earthquake in Haiti rocked the world of 1969 NDLS alumnus Robert Greene. He has participated in medical missions to Haiti since 2001, and visits the impoverished nation about twice each year. He was en route to Haiti when the earthquake struck, and was forced to return home.
“Besides monitoring the news channels, I have been getting sporadic email reports through the Sisters of Mercy,” says Greene, who also worked to raise funds for Centre Notre Dame de Lourdes, an orphanage for girls and a neighborhood clinic in Port-au-Prince. “The orphanage is destroyed and three kids are confirmed dead with others missing. Madame Paula, the director, is living with 50-plus girls outside. Catholic Relief Services finally got to the orphanage on Thursday, nine days after the quake, with water, food, and some supplies.”
Greene learned about the orphanage during one of his medical missions, and has been involved in fundraising for the Centre ever since. He raised tens-of-thousands of dollars to complete an OB/GYN clinic, purchase equipment for the clinic’s laboratory, and install a water purification system for the Centre.
Now, it’s all gone.
Greene hopes to rebuild the orphanage, and has already begun plans for a trip to Haiti when the rescue effort is over and USAID says it’s alright to go. “If these children don’t have a safe place to live, they’ll be out on the street or will go to the Dominican Republic to work as slaves in the sugar cane fields.”
Greene is a 1969 graduate of Notre Dame Law School, and practices law as a partner in the firm of Phillips Lytle LLP, Buffalo, New York.