September 27, 2005: Headlines: COS - Paraguay: Hurricane Relief: Tsunami: The Hilltop: Paraguay RPCV Shay La Romney at the children's fund as an emergency program associate

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Paraguay: Peace Corps Paraguay: The Peace Corps in Paraguay: September 27, 2005: Headlines: COS - Paraguay: Hurricane Relief: Tsunami: The Hilltop: Paraguay RPCV Shay La Romney at the children's fund as an emergency program associate

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Paraguay RPCV Shay La Romney at the children's fund as an emergency program associate

Paraguay RPCV Shay La Romney at the children's fund as an emergency program associate

"Whether it is volunteering, donating goods or money, we all need to make it a point to get involved and help others in whatever way we can...and not just after a crisis because people are suffering daily".

Paraguay RPCV Shay La Romney at the children's fund as an emergency program associate

Howard Alumnus Provides Aid in Reliefs

By Janasha Johnson
The Hilltop
Washington, D.C.
September 27, 2005

While efforts are being made from all over in the United States to aid with rebuilding after Katrina, Asian countries are still recovering after the destruction of the tsunami. Howard graduate Shay La Romney is deeply involved in efforts to help those ravaged by both tragedies.

Romney graduated from Howard in 1996. She then worked in the Peace Corps where she served in Paraguay for two years and the Dominican Republic for one year working with urban youth. She started working for Christian Children's Fund in December.

Romney's decision to work for the children's fund was strongly influenced by her experience at Howard.

"Although I've always felt like I wanted to work in a field that helped others, studying at Howard and having mentors like Dr. Boykin and Dr. Harrell definitely influenced my decision to pursue work with children who have less resources and opportunities available to them," she said.

Romney works at the children's fund as an emergency program associate. Some of the duties of her position include going to the sites of disaster and providing childcare. Romney had her work cut out for her as soon as she began her position.

"The tsunami hit one week after I started," she said.

The subsequent week, Shay La Romney traveled to Sri Lanka and observed the devastation.

"The damage was really heart wrenching," she said. "Families were living in tents, sleeping on the ground, cooking outside, and children were playing where trash had been thrown."

Four months later, Romney traveled to Indonesia. She said it was far worse in Indonesia five months after the tsunami than in Sri Lanka after only a month.

"I had seen the images on television but they couldn't compare to what I saw there," she said. It was hard for Romney to put a lot of what she saw into words.

"The destruction was unbelievable," she said, "complete communities were wiped out for kilometers. Everyone you met had lost someone."

Romney got to speak with a lot the people CCF was helping.

"The people were very friendly," she said. "They were willing to answer questions, and tell stories. They shared what they lost and what they hoped for."

Though the people's friendliness raised her spirits, Romney was still troubled by the circumstances.

"I think I felt a little uneasy about going into what was now their living space and asking them questions because it felt intrusive," she said. "It was also hard not being able to provide for them everything that they needed--there was so much."

While Romney said she felt inadequate with the amount she could give, the U.S. response to the tsunami pleased her.

"There were a lot of active organizations there," she said. The children's fund will be traveling to Mississippi to aid in the aftermath of Katrina in a few weeks. Romney was not as content with how the situation has been handled in regions hit by Katrina, unlike the tsunami.

"It's really sad," she said. "Here we are weeks later and so many children are still lost." Romney will be traveling to Mississippi as an agent of the children's fund.

Americans have donated over half a billion dollars to charities providing relief to people in Louisiana and Mississippi. Romney encourages Howard students to get involved.

"I think that Howard University students should get involved whether it is with Christian Children's Fund or any other organization," she said. "Whether it is volunteering, donating goods or money, we all need to make it a point to get involved and help others in whatever way we can...and not just after a crisis because people are suffering daily".

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Story Source: The Hilltop

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Paraguay; Hurricane Relief; Tsunami


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