Belfast Telegraph

Coco Rocha discusses Haiti relief

Coco Rocha says it's vital that people realise Haiti's problems have "only just begun".

The Caribbean island was rocked by a massive earthquake in January 2010 which affected an estimated three million people, killing 300,000 and leaving one million homeless.

In the months after the natural disaster, a huge relief effort was mounted, with many celebrities doing what they could to help.

Model Coco and her husband James Conran have made a film called Letters to Haiti, which chronicles Coco's recent visit to the island. She hopes it shows people how much there is still to be done.

"I saw and experienced so much in the week we were down there. I was moved by how appreciative the children were for any sort of love or attention you could give them I was also struck by what I did not see," she told "Other than a few old women trying to sweep piles of rubble and dust, I didn't see any significant clean-up efforts. I can remember just two occasions where I witnessed construction and rebuilding despite the fact the entire country lies in rubble. If you asked the average person, I suspect they would think that the worst of Haiti's troubles are over - but they have only just begun."

Coco hopes the film touches people and encourages them to get involved with aid efforts.

She has set up a pen pal program for children in Haiti to correspond with others around the world as she thinks it's human contact which many of them are missing.

"I'm hopeful that our event and our film will keep people thinking about Haiti. I think we need these periodic reminders because with so much happening around the world, it's so easy to be distracted. Haiti has to stay in our minds and hearts. If this trip proved one thing to me it's that the children especially still need us, and as long as they do I want to try to help however I can," she said.

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From Belfast Telegraph