8/7/2011 7:17:49 PM
On Jan. 12, 2010, a group of second-year nursing students in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, felt their world come apart. Dust drifted between the seams of a cracked ceiling that broke and fell on them in heavy cement chunks. Nearly the entire class was killed, along with their teachers and hundreds of thousands of others as buildings across Port-Au-Prince crashed down on those inside. Survivors staggered into the street, bleeding and broken. They couldn’t tell where they stood; everything familiar had fallen.
Phones around the world started ringing. One call went to Paul Farmer, a lifelong advocate for the Haitian people and co-founder of one of the world’s most notable NGOs, Partners in Health.Farmer is a Harvard anthropologist, doctor and, at the time of the quake, the United Nations’ deputy special envoy to Haiti.