Joonia's Story. Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Feature story by Kasper Nybo Photography

Joonia. Her mother was killed in the quake and she has never known her father. Her aunt Fabiola who already has a daugther to care for, has taken Joonia in.

Joonia. Her mother was killed in the quake and she has never known her father. Her aunt Fabiola who already has a daugther to care for, has taken Joonia in.

During my recent work on a feature story (read more) in Haiti I wanted to document the lives of children affected by the earthquake. There are countless stories of broken limps, fights over food and salvaged building materials to be told. And then there is a more quiet story, one of orphans. Children who have lost not just their home, but their mothers, fathers and sometimes their entire family. They are alone in an unimaginable way, left in the hands of relatives and aid organizations or – in many cases – dealing with a new life alone in the streets.


This is the story of one of these children. Her name is Joonia.

 

An estimated 2.000.000 people are left with no homes, in a country already struck by immense poverty. A great number of these homeless people are children, living a normal life with family, friends and school before the quake.

An estimated 2.000.000 people are left with no homes, in a country already struck by immense poverty. A great number of these homeless people are children, living a normal life with family, friends and school before the quake.

Now many children live in makeshift camps in the streets or bigger camps run by international aid organizations. Others are left to an extremely difficult and dangerous future in the streets.

Now many children live in makeshift camps in the streets or bigger camps run by international aid organizations. Others are left to an extremely difficult and dangerous future in the streets.

Joonia and her aunt are lucky, as extended family provides roof over their heads, in a small impoverished community.

Joonia and her aunt are lucky, as extended family provides roof over their heads, in a small impoverished community.

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Joonia is dealing with basic survival every day, while trying to cope with a life turned upside down by the loss of parents, home and stability.

Joonia is dealing with basic survival every day, while trying to cope with a life turned upside down by the loss of parents, home and stability.

Evening brings along friends and cooler temperatures, and is the closest Joonia has to normal family time. As she falls asleep later on, gunshots are heard from downtown Port-au-Prince, reminding her of the dangers just outside the house.

Evening brings along friends and cooler temperatures, and is the closest Joonia has to normal family time. As she falls asleep later on, gunshots are heard from downtown Port-au-Prince, reminding her of the dangers just outside the house.

Joonia is a strong girl. Her aunt has given all she can to ensure a normality in Joonias life, but worries for Joonias future as the family struggles with the reality of terrible living conditions and the lack of basic sanitation, food and clean water, and are dependent on help from the outside.

Joonia is a strong girl. Her aunt has given all she can to ensure a normality in Joonias life, but worries for Joonias future as the family struggles with the reality of terrible living conditions and the lack of basic sanitation, food and clean water, and are dependent on help from the outside.

These images are dedicated to Hospice St Joseph, with great thanks for their openness which made my work in Haiti possible. They are truly amazing people, and their work in the local community is fantastic. I strongly encourage you to support their work – and children like Joonia. Go to www.hospicesaintjoseph.org for more info on how to support.

Images and words by Kasper Nybo Photography. We work in the no-man’s land between narrative observation and visual storytelling, capturing authenticity and creating no-nonsense visual communication. We believe in the power of originality and honest stories across our line of work in editorial, commercial, artistic and humanitarian photography. Get in touch and let us know how we can help you deliver stronger stories! For bookings or questions click above. If you want to read more about us, click right here.