- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 20, 2010

CORAOPOLIS, Pa. | A flight carrying 53 Haitian orphans landed at Pittsburgh International Airport, a week after their orphanage was destroyed by the massive quake.

Workers disembarked the plane Tuesday morning, some of them carrying children in their arms, and boarded waiting buses. Other children walked off the plane, waving at onlookers.

The orphans will be taken to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh for medical care and be placed in group homes until their adoptions are finalized.

Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell and other officials escorted the children from Haiti, where they and their American caretakers spent days in dire need of food and water after the quake.

The families of two Pittsburgh sisters working at the orphanage used Twitter and Facebook to spread the word about their plight, prompting the evacuation.

Back in Haiti, orphanages that were operating before the earthquake are scrambling to keep their children safe, sheltered and fed.

Three of the four orphanages operated in Port-au-Prince by Planting Peace, a Melbourne, Fla., nonprofit, have been damaged, forcing staff to move everyone into one building. They are now trying to secure homes in Haiti for the children, the group’s founder, Aaron Jackson, told the Associated Press in an e-mail.

All 37 of his orphans are physically fine, Mr. Jackson said, and he would like to help more children.

“There needs to be some communication from the government level about what we need to do. Can we take these children?” he said. “We’re ready. We’ve already raised a fair amount of money where we can go out and get an orphanage running soon.”

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