IBBY launches appeal for Haiti – Letters from friends in Haiti

To IBBY friends around the world

The earthquake in Haiti has left us all shaken and shocked: our friends are there.  Yet another tragic disaster has hit the poorest country in the western hemisphere.  We have already seen the nations of the world pledging help with basic medical and food aid.

But they need more than that.

For the past year our colleagues at IBBY Haiti have been running a Children in Crisis project to train teachers, librarians and carers how to use the healing power of storytelling and books after natural and environmental disasters, such as the series of enormous storms that hit Haiti in recent years and the collapse of a school that killed many children in 2008.  The earthquake on 12 January 2010 has wreaked so much more havoc and brought death to thousands, and a very uncertain future to millions more.

If Jocelyne Troulit and her colleagues at IBBY Haiti are in a position to start a new Children in Crisis response IBBY will of course support her 100%. Meanwhile, we will accept funds in trust for IBBY Haiti to help the surviving children and their families through the healing power of books and storytelling.  At the very least we can try to make sure that they receive books in Creole, something that has been an important consideration in Jocelyne’s work.

All donations are welcome.  You can donate through the IBBY website by using a credit card or by making direct transfers using your bank: follow the link on our home page:

We shall be sharing news with you as we get it.  This tragedy has touched us all: Jocelyne is an active member of our IBBY family and as always the children are suffering the most.  Half the population of Port-au-Prince are children!

Help us to help them.

Thank you

International Board on Books for Young People

Bringing Books and Children Together


Liz Page

Executive Director

International Board on Books for Young People

Nonnenweg 12


CH-4003 Basel

Tel: +

This is Jocelyne´s answer a few days after the earthquake:
The Universite Caraibe and most universities in Port au Prince are completely destroyed. Most schools too.  Thousands of school children and university students are under those buildings.  Many cadavers have been removed from the streets by the state today.  We have survivors.  Thousands of houses have collapsed.  Rich and poor have lost families and houses.  I cannot describe the horrors.

I have seen so many corpses today, many of my own students are dead or injured, I don’t want to describe it.

I hope to be able to coordinate some help next week.  For now, we have to bury the dead.  The children of Haiti will need some psychological help and bibliotherapy will certainly bring some healing to them.  Schools will not reopen until September or October.  The buildings and the teachers are not there.   We will have to find other places, many churches have also been destroyed.

Thank you again for your support.

Most of the IBBY books that were in storage at the Universite or at the schools have been destroyed.  I asked today if I could find them in the debris, but I understood the people were more concerned about the corpses that started to smell and to find some survivors.

We stay positive, but for most of us we will need strong will power.

IBBY Haiti: Jocelyne Troulit, Port au Prince, Haiti, 16 January 2010