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A Student's Mission to Help Haiti Earthquake Victims

SCU senior Bobby Moon is keeping the images of the Haiti earthquake destruction alive to help the victims receive more aid. He hopes to achieve that through his camera lens, which he used to capture nearly 2,400 photos during his visit to the quake-ravaged country during his spring break in March.

The 22-year-old marketing major was in the Dominican Republic, volunteering for an organization called Somos Amigos, when the 7.0 magnitude temblor struck on Jan. 12. Moon nearly lost his balance as the ground beneath him rocked back and forth. While many volunteers were stunned and unaware of what was happening, Moon, who grew up in Los Gatos, immediately knew he was experiencing an earthquake. He soon began hearing reports that the epicenter was in the neighboring country of Haiti and that the damage was catastrophic.

“We managed to tune into a radio station which was reporting that a couple of hundred thousand people may be dead,” says Moon. “And as each day went by, the volunteers and I felt we needed to go to Haiti to help.”

But they were also hearing reports of utter chaos: no electricity, no access to food and water, and crushed homes and buildings everywhere. The organization leaders decided it wasn’t safe enough to enter Haiti. So, they along with the volunteers, returned to the U.S. to begin mapping out a future mission. In order to get a firsthand look at the situation, Moon and the founder of Somos Amigos arrived in Haiti on March 20 to assess the damaged areas.

“It was something out of a movie. It looked like the earthquake had just happened yesterday. Rubble from destroyed buildings littered the streets, and bulldozers were everywhere, slowly trying to clear the area. Many buildings also had dead bodies inside, so the stench was overwhelming,” says Moon.

He captured images of thousands of orphaned children fighting for food, mass graves, and tent cities filled with displaced families. He quickly realized that he needed to show the world that nearly three months after the earthquake hit, victims were still in need of basic necessities. So, Moon submitted his photos to CNN’s iReport, and they immediately became one of the most popular stories on the website.

“I want the photos to remind people of the ongoing crisis in Haiti and hope that the images will raise money,” he says. “The victims are in desperate need of help.”

Moon was also invited to the Americas Relief Team Regional Crisis Relief Annual Luncheon in Miami on May 7, where his photos will be on display.

Click here to watch slideshows of Moon’s photography.

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