At seven minutes to five in the afternoon on Tuesday 12th January 2010, a catastrophic earthquake hit the already-impoverished country of Haiti.
When documentary-maker Brian Kenny travels to Haiti ten months later, he finds a city of tents, where rubble is still being cleared and people are still living in make-shift shelters, struggling to find clean water and to get by.
This documentary centres around St. Gerard’s, a school run by the Redemptorist Priests. 275 children and two teachers died when the school of St. Gerard collapsed during the earthquake which measured 7 on the Richter scale.
A brand new concrete building housing the school had been funded from overseas aid and finished only a month before the earthquake struck.
Classes for the children are now held in stiflingly hot tents, crammed together in whatever space they can find.
This community has already benefited from Irish money. Irish businessman Denis O’Brien funded the rubble-clearing operation, Irish charity Misean Cara have funded a massive feeding programme for the children in the school.
The Redemptorists are determined to rebuild the school – for the people in the slums of Port-au-Prince, education is often the only hope that they will escape a life of poverty.
An estimated 300,000 people - the equivalent of the entire population of Galway - died in the earthquake and over a million people were displaced and are now living in camps and tents made from plastic sheeting.
Though money has been donated, the rebuilding process has been painfully slow, hampered by political instability and violence, a worsening cholera outbreak and a country overwhelmed by the disaster that has befallen it.
Compiled and narrated by Brian Kenny.
Production Supervision by Nicoline Greer.
Sound supervision by Damian Chanelle.
For further information on Misean Cara, click here
For further information on the Redemptorists, click here
This documentary was funded by Misean Cara
First broadcast Saturday 15th January 2011.
An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries.