HFAV Hurricane Matthew Relief Plan
Last week, Category 4 Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti....and there it hovered over the island, moving at a slow 4-7 mph and dumping an astounding amount of rain in the process. 145 mph winds whipped down coconut and banana trees. In some places, people evacuated to concrete shelters such as government community shelters, hospitals, or sturdier homes of family and friends.
In many other places, people tried to ride out the storm in their own homes. In the southern peninsula, roofs of corrugated tin were ripped off like foil seals on containers of food. Concrete cinder block homes crumbled just like they did during the earthquake, sometimes on top of people huddled inside. They became exposed to flying debirs, where even small sticks can become deadly projectiles. But the worst of all was flooding, which drowned people, ruined food growing in fields, and carried cholera to its next victims. On top of losing their homes, people are grieving for family members they lost, some right in their arms as they ran for safety elsewhere after their homes were destroyed in the midst of the storm.
Hope for a Village has been updating on our Facebook page this past week for the Cotes-de-Fer area & fundraising to purchase emergency food & water for those without homes in the area. So far, you have donated approximately $2500 over the course of just a few days! We are so thankful for your generous hearts and the continued prayers for Haitians affected by this disaster. We were able to send this money to our trusted contacts in Haiti, who then purchased food from a local shop in CDF that, by the grace of God, had not been destroyed by the hurricane floods or high winds. This food was distributed to the thousands of people who lost their homes and had been without food for days. We are still praying for our neighbors in the surrounding areas, as many of the remote parts have not yet received food.
PLAN OF ACTION
The volunteers behind the scenes at Hope for a Village, Côtes-de-Fer, Haiti have discussed that the best things for us to do at this time are:
1) Continue fundraising to purchase emergency food/water locally & in areas of Haiti not hit by the hurricane. Again, we emphasize that WE CANNOT WAIT for physical donations to be brought in. Donations that come into the country have to clear customs, and they charge a LOT of taxes on it. This is why donating to a legitimate organization that is actually DOING STUFF is important during the immediate time following a disaster.
2) Continue fundraising to have wells checked & repaired, and provide emergency water tabs and/or filtration systems to those who need them.
3) Continue fundraising to provide Cholera treatment. ***Cholera is treatable with simple medications IF those medications are available AND people can afford them AND people can access services!!!*** Medications include antibiotics, IVs, and assistance to receive medical care to those who cannot afford it. We will purchase what we can in Haiti (such as IVs, which are too heavy to bring in with an emergency aid teams on airplanes....see #5 below).
4) Assemble a team of Creole-speaking volunteers from across the world to travel in October or early November when we know that routes to CDF are adequately accessible. This team would also include anyone with specialty skills such as water filtration, even if they may not necessarily speak Creole/French well. We will have more information on this later. We do not want to be a burden on local resources, and we cannot tie up our translator, who will be busy discussing with community members what their most pressing needs are, what HFAV can do to help, and preparing for our December medical clinic trip.
We are a very small team of volunteers doing everything we can to help this rural, remote area of farms and tiny villages in Haiti. But we need help!! If you have a humble heart and are a hard worker, here is what you can help with *immediately*:
1) Fundraiser event coordinator OR heading up a single fundraiser at your church, school, or fundraiser
2) English-to-Creole and/or English-to-French translations of messages on social media and blogs
3) Website transition/development on a Wordpress platform
4) Creole-speaking or French-speaking aid volunteers to travel with us at a date in the next month. Any skills/labor skills are appreciated. If you are unable to go, please prayerfully consider donating the amount of your plane ticket to HFAV so we can hire many laborers in your place! The impact of a donation like this cannot be emphasized enough! This will help stimulate the economy, enable people to earn money to repair their homes and businesses, and provide HOPE and a sense of community to people in the area.
5) Doctor/pharmacist/nurse practitioner who can travel with us and can legally be in possession of prescription medications that we take with us. You do not need to speak Creole or French for this role, but of course it is a bonus. You *do* need to be prepared to see some difficult situations, and be willing to "rough it."
Again, right now monetary donations are the most efficient way that you can help Haiti. You can give securely at www.Hopeforavillage.org or simply click on this link: Paypal.me/hopeforavillage. Checks can be sent to "Hope for a Village, 151 W. Elm St. Hollister, MO 65672."
We know many of you long to be right there in Haiti, helping to clean up. But right now we ask instead that you prayerfully considering donating what you would spend on a plane ticket to Hope for a Village, Côtes-de-Fer, Haiti. Your money will go much further and provide much-needed income if we would be able to hire MANY laborers in your place to help clean up farms so they can replant and get food growing again. We would love to have you come with us on a trip to learn firsthand what Cotes-de-Fer is like and what HFAV is all about, but another time would be better.
The only physical donations we are in need of at this time to take down to Haiti with our aid team are (in order of priority): Antibiotics for cholera, worm pills, water tabs, and vitamins. While we are emphasizing Haitian purchases of what we can, some things are not as readily or easily available, and we know there will be a need of these medications. We will let you know if more needs arise for other types. If you are a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist who has access to donations of these items OR have connections to your local pharmacies who can donate these things to you, please email or message us. We will need to know the laws in your state about what type of medical license is necessary to be in possession of any prescriptions.
Copyright 2016. Hope For A Village, Cotes-de-Fer, Haiti Mission. All Rights Reserved.