“I don’t have anything… I have no house. I don’t have any garden at all. All my animals have died. Goats, sheep, pigs – all died.” – Enite Saint-Jour, Port Salut, Haiti
We hear stories like this time and time again from families, friends and partners in Haiti who were affected by Hurricane Matthew. Their communities were built up over the course of many decades, brick by brick, home by home. Then, in one night, they were destroyed by the 145 mph winds and 30+ inches of rain from Hurricane Matthew. Small, vulnerable communities were completely and utterly overwhelmed.
When our relief teams arrive in these villages wrecked by the hurricane and unreached by aid, children and families come up to us with grateful eyes and heavy hearts. Through your generosity these families now have food, water and shelter. So many have told us they didn’t believe they would be able to survive, much less rebuild. Thank you for giving them hope when they needed it most.
We wanted to share this short video of one couple who now has a roof over their heads because of your generous support. Watch his reaction when asked how he feels about his new roof:
Our food distribution efforts are also reaching thousands of children and families who need it most. Through your support, each family at our distribution sites receive 25lbs of food containing beans, rice, cooking oil, and much more. We have distributed more than 700 tarps to restore shelter to more than 300 homes and their families. Through two new wells along with hundreds of water tablets, thousands more now have access to clean water.
We are working through established relationships with community leaders who know the names of those who need help, and can help us pass out the required aide in an effective manner. Many volunteers who have accompanied us on our food distribution trips have been surprised at how orderly these relief efforts are.
One of the most striking realities we’ve come to realize is simply that the rebuilding isn’t going to happen if someone doesn’t go in and do it. Disasters like this significantly increase the likelihood that vulnerable children will be trafficked or sent into restavek. In addition, many of our strategic partners in our work to end child slavery in Haiti were impacted by the hurricane and need help in order to recover and continue our critical work. Because of your help, we are meeting that need and continuing our work to end child slavery in Haiti!
Already we have seen an amazing response to this enormous need. There is much work to do, and the road ahead is indeed long. Yet, with your help, we will rebuild. We are so grateful for partners like you who care for the children in families in Haiti who were affected by Hurricane Matthew.