Louino Robillard: When I heard about the earthquake in Nepal and saw the pictures, it made me remember the earthquake that hit my country Haiti 5 years ago.
I remember what that felt like: I remember the dust, the panic, the fear because you can no longer trust the ground beneath your feet. Even though Nepal is halfway around the world, I feel you are my family because I know some of the pain you are going through now.
Even in the photos and videos, I see so much solidarity between Nepalis – and I would like to ask my Nepali brothers and sisters to hold onto that. We Haitians stayed strong through solidarity in the few days after the earthquake, and then we became divided. Don’t let that happen to you – you are a proud people with so much history and culture, so hold onto that and you will emerge strong.
I said this to my friends in the Philippines after the typhoon: you are more than the disasters you suffer. You are not victims – you are survivors, you are heroes, and you will rebuild your country. Your brothers and sisters in Haiti are here to tell you that the ground will stop shaking, the dust will settle, and you will live on to build a new Nepal. And for those who have been lost today, the world will honor their memories.