International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Haiti: "Do you know a girl called Lovely?"

After seeing far too much bad news in today’s headlines, it was a joy to read this story in The Independent about the incredible reunion of a mother and daughter who were separated during the earthquake that devastated Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.

Ibola Samedi believed that her 12-year-old daughter was killed, along with her 7-year-old son, when the family's home collapsed in the quake, six months ago today.  But the girl survived — a policeman discovered her, a day later, roaming the streets of Port-au-Prince. She was disoriented and in shock, unable to say anything but her first name:  Lovely.

A pile of rubble where the family home once stood.  Photo: Lucy Carrigan/the IRC

A pile of rubble where the family home once stood. (Photo: Lucy Carrigan/the IRC)

The policeman took Lovely to a nearby orphanage, where a visiting International Rescue Committee social worker, Etienne Guerline, added her name to a database the IRC created to help reconnect missing children with their families. With nothing more than a photograph of Lovely in hand, and the few details the girl could tell her about her life, Etienne hit the streets -- looking for someone, anyone, who might recognize Lovely and help her find her family.

Months later, Etienne’s dedicated detective work paid off -- Lovely and her overjoyed mother were reunited on Wednesday. Read all about it.

Lovely and her mom together again, posing for a photograph for a newspaper story. Photo: Lucy Carrigan/The IRC

Lovely and her mom together again, posing for a photograph for a newspaper story. (Photo: Lucy Carrigan/The IRC)

 

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