January 18, 2010
Posted: 10:26 AM ET
Note: Alyssa Milano will be among our guests TONIGHT on our LKL Haiti relief special – tune in tonight at 8pmet for our 2-hour show!!
By Alyssa Milano via the HuffingtonPost.com:
We've all been impacted by the devastation in Haiti. We've seen the pictures and watched the videos with horror and dismay. To watch that kind of human suffering on television is one thing, but to truly grasp that kind of pain is something else entirely. It is unfathomable. Even the most active imagination can't totally comprehend the big picture.
As a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, I've seen UNICEF's lifesaving work first-hand. I traveled to Angola in 2004, only two years after the peace treaty was signed ending a 27-year civil war. In 2005, I went to India for the 6-month anniversary of the tsunami. Sure, I had seen pictures from both places prior to my trips. I watched videos and tried to prepare myself. But what I couldn't get from a photo or video, were the smells of sewage and illness, the unbearable heat in a temporary shelter, the feeling of dirt covering my body. These are the things that will stay will me for the rest of my life.
To fully understand the effect of this earthquake, it's important to know some background on Haiti. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and has been plagued by political conflict for most of its history. Since 2004, the country has suffered profound violence and lawlessness. The chaos has hampered basic services and prevented humanitarian assistance from reaching vulnerable children and families.
**For a full list of Organizations responding to the crisis in Haiti, please visit Impact Your World at www.cnn.com/impact
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