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The line between order and disorder…

“Battles, campaigns and even wars have been won or lost primarily because of logistics”. Or so said Eisenhower. It’s equally true for aid work.

It can seem a daily battle for Save the Children to deliver life-saving services to hundreds of thousands of people still devastated by the earthquake in Haiti a year ago, and our logistics managers (or ‘loggies’) are the ones whose heads are on the block.

Responsible for materials, movement and maintenance (the 3 big Ms), logistics in Haiti is challenging. I visited a Cholera Treatment Unit and heard from Charlie Reeves, our loggie in Leogane, on the particular hurdles to overcome in building a clinic like this one, entirely from scratch and within budget.

Imagine trying to build a life-saving clinic when rubble fills the road, electricity that relies on an unreliable generator cuts out and you have no water for the cement. Or getting urgent medical supplies delivered when violent riots and burning tires mean your team can’t leave the house.

But it’s not all challenges and setbacks — Charlie tells me that one of the best things about his job is working alongside the local workforce — all Haitian, all eager to help rebuild their country. He also says that one of his proudest moments was seeing the treatment unit opening to accept its first patients — including a 12 year old boy suffering from cholera who was quickly given a life saving mix of water, salt and sugar.

Charlie began his career in the army; transporting weapons, ammunition and troops. A few years (and one MA in Humanitarianism and Conflict Response) later, and now he’s moving cholera beds, wood and school kits.

Find out more about our work in Haiti

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