January 2013: Didine, a Plan sponsored child, was 14 years old when the powerful earthquake hit Haiti 3 years ago.For 35 long seconds, she thought the world was collapsing around her – along with her dream of becoming a violinist. It took months for her to begin reconnecting to one of her most precious dreams – music – which has helped her regain faith in life.
The disaster was a turning point for Didine. "I saw my life scroll before me," she says.Her family escaped unhurt but their home suffered heavy damage. She remembers the screams of people running in the streets.
Like thousands of affected children, Didine urgently needed emotional support. She received it in a Plan-supported child-friendly space (CFS), which provided a refuge in the midst of chaos.
There she “rediscovered” games, drawing, songs, painting, theatre and, to her great delight, music.
"At the start of the activities, some of the children remained virtually silent," said psychologist Andrieu Pierre, who was responsible for the CFS. Didine was among them.
Plan staff believed that music could play an important role in helping to stabilise the children and established a partnership with the school of music Dessaix Baptiste to provide music courses.
Reviving the dream
Didine always wanted to play the violin, but in the CFS it was not possible. Plan, however, asked Dessaix Baptiste to accommodate children who wished to continue with advanced music classes.
Didine has been learning the violin for 6 months now.
"Before the earthquake, one of my goals was to be able to play violin in front of a large audience which would be glad to listen to my music," she said.
That finally happened in June when she played in public for the first time at the close of a music camp, organised by Dessaix Baptiste.
"I'm very proud of myself. And it's nice to express myself and realise my dream,"