June 03, 2013
This three-part series profiles Julie Roberts and her work in Haiti since a devastating earthquake in 2010. From amputating infected limbs to investing in pay-it-forward microcredit loans, Roberts is dedicated to helping Haitians recover.
It is January 2010. Julie Roberts finishes a long run in training for the Vancouver Marathon and rushes home to cook dinner for her four children.
She turns on the TV to find ubiquitous breaking news about a devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake that just hit Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas. Because of poorly built infrastructure, buildings crumbled like sandcastles, taking tens of thousands of lives in the process. The death toll is rising with every second. It will eventually number more than 200,000.
A part-time paramedic, Roberts feels a sudden obligation to help, and not in the dollar-a-day-sponsorship-program kind of way. Ten minutes and CA$1,000 later, a flight is booked for the following morning.
On the plane she’s a bit nervous. Planes aren’t landing in Haiti because of the earthquake, so her flight is actually touching down on the other side of the small island, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Roberts is not exactly sure how she’s going to cross the border into Haiti, but she’s confident she’ll find a way to get to ground zero.
Parts 2 and 3 will take an in-depth look at Roberts’ efforts in Haiti.