Earthquake Relief – Shelter, Shelter, Shelter

An update from our FounderSince my last update, a lot has happened and today I am writing to let you know that we have a firm plan that will spring into action this coming week.  As I’ve shared in previous emails, finding the right way and who to help in the rebuilding effort is not easy, and requires work and sweat.  

We know the Aug 14th earthquake hit the south and southwest parts of Haiti.  We also know the areas surrounding the epicenter (L’Asile) are remote and these communities will most likely never see an aid worker, UN, or even a Haitian government official itself because the focus will be on big cities like Les Cayes and Jeremie.  

We also wanted to serve and partner with the most vulnerable.  What we have learned in more than two decades working in remote communities in Haiti is that the most vulnerable have to be found because they may not have the means and/or resources to seek help or to go where the help is.  The way we find these most vulnerable people is by partnering with the local leaders in those communities.

So our team arrived in a town called Bellevue on Sept 7th and stayed there for 3 days.  Before arrival, our team had already connected with leaders in that community and surrounding communities that include people directly from the epicenter.  

In this meeting we shared what our vision was – we wanted to help the most vulnerable people in remote communities. The overwhelming cry for help had to do with shelter.  
Over the next two days, the team divided in groups and visited 8 different communities (Nan Jeanot, Pledo, Jonc Dodin, D’eau salee, Nerette, Satine, Jean Fort, Bellevue) and took pictures and contact information. 

We knew we would not be able to help everyone but they assessed and documented 120 names/families, ages ranging  from 20 years old to 80 years old.

The 120 people will be helped the following way:

  1. 92 people will be helped with cement and sheets of tin
  2. 28 people will be helped with sheets of tin

In total, there will be 6 truckloads of cement (more than 2000 bags, and more than 3000 sheets of tin). The total cost would be about $30,000.  In the aftermath of the quake, we received $15,000 in donations. I’ve shared the news with some long time supporters and we received an additional $7,000.  So we are at  $22,000 out of $30,000.

When we embarked on this journey to help with the relief effort I thought we’d be able to help about 50 different households, accepting the fact that we can’t help everyone. 

This update is to say a huge thanks to all of you who have provided your support to this relief effort and supported us the last two decades.  The communities that we have worked in are now in a position to help others. 

Next week the team will begin the transportation of cement and sheets of tin.  I believe we will be able to help all 120 people and we will eventually receive the remaining funds ($8,000) to do so.
I travel to Haiti on September 28th to connect with the team and the community to assist in the distribution of the materials.  

Thank you once again for letting me come to you and seek your support.  I am now and forever grateful for your partnership.

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