Haiti Earthquake Response 2021
Letter to Our Donors:
Thank You For Saving Lives!
Because of your generosity, our local team was able to respond right away to the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that stuck Haiti on August 14th, 2021. We were often the first team to bring aid to the many affected villages, providing over 21,000 bags of clean water, rice, beans, soap, toilet paper, baby formula, and many other essentials to people who have lost everything in a matter of seconds. Our team drove many injured to the hospital and brought many doctors + nurses to the affected towns. Just last week, we bused in pediatricians from Port-au-Prince who volunteered their time, treating 24 infants and 62 adults.
We are so proud of the young volunteers from our village, who slept outside for many nights just to lend a helping hand. During such a tumultuous time in the world, it is important to celebrate those who are doing good. Like Mr. Fred Roger says, when you see scary things in the news, "look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." Looking at these bright and beautiful smiles of our volunteers, they remind us that it is truly better to give than receive.
Our work is not finished, we are currently seeking long-term solutions to provide clean water in the most affected areas.
You can continue to support our ongoing recovery efforts here.
Wednesday, August 25th, 2021: Busing in Doctors and Nurses
Our team in Haiti has continued to bus doctors and nurses in from all over Haiti.
Our team has also gather donations from the locals in Petit Goave and distributing them to those who lost everything.
It’s amazing to see how people come together to help each other during moments of crisis.
But it’s overwhelming nonetheless. The sights they see and the sounds they hear are truly traumatic to the youth + young men who volunteered to help.
Help us cheer on our rescue team by sending them a note of encouragement.
Email us at email@example.com
Sunday, August 22nd, 2021: Hundreds Running After The Supply Truck
Our team has been working on ground zero and hasn’t been home for the last two days. They’ve been sleeping under trees at night as they serve in the most hard hit areas.
I finally heard from them this morning.
From Befrèt, they drove into another town called Saut Maturin and the desperation is unreal. The damage is horrific and endless people are injured.
“There are no words... It’s really bad... It's overwhelming,” says Daniel.
The moment they drove up, hundreds of people ran after their truck.
Even members of our team started crying seeing the suffering and the desperation firsthand. I can’t imagine how traumatic this turn of events has been for the Haitian people.
They were able to connect and partner with a medical team that was heading to that town. Together, they were able to serve 314 people, giving them medical care, water, food, and hygienic kits!
Please keep our team in your prayers. Though they are not professional search and rescue teams, they have the heart to help. They are showing up on the frontlines every day and every night to help in whatever capacity is needed.
Thursday, August 19th, 2021: Sleeping Under The Mango Trees
Earthquake leaves Haiti "on its knees," says Prime Minister Ariel Henry.
Landslides has made rescue efforts more difficult. There are many hard hit areas that vehicles simply can not reach because the roads are blocked. We are discovering more and more villages where homes have collapsed and many injured but no one has showed up to help.
Just like La Zil, a village we discovered yesterday. The nurses and volunteers that came from Petit Goave are staying in La Zil for now to take care of the wounded until supplies run out.
Where are they sleeping?
Under the mango trees.
Unfortunately, desperate people hijacked a couple vehicles yesterday for supplies, so the government now require rescue teams to register so they can send escorts with them to go to affected areas - further delaying the rescue efforts.
The government notified our team that a village called Befret in Aux Cayes is in desperate need but haven't received help, so our team is registered to go there tomorrow.
A major health concern right now is another cholera outbreak in Haiti due to the lack of clean water in the hardest hit areas. Clean water supplies have been contaminated since the earthquake on Saturday. Something so simply, yet so crucial to the relief efforts right now.
They are stocking up to bring as much aid as they can, from medical supplies to food, and most importantly, clean water. 15,060 bags of clean water will be delivered to hardest hit areas tomorrow!
Wednesday, August 18th, 2021: First Rescue Team to Arrive at La Zil
The rain finally stopped today.
The search and rescue continues.
Today, our team just discovered a town in the countryside called La Zil that has been badly affected but no one has reached them yet. We are officially the first team that showed up to help with search and rescue. The only reason why we were able to find this town was because our student tutor, Kempes has family there. The road to this town is very muddy now and it was very difficult to get to La Zil. But they made it.
There are many people injured and houses collapsed. They brought with them water and food to give to the survivors. There will be a group of volunteer nurses from Petit Goave (the city near our village) to come help with the wounded. A separate team is driving all the way to the capital, Port-au-Prince to find medical supplies. And another team is still in Les Cayes, the most affected area to help with search and rescue. They will try to gather people to come to La Zil to help as well.
They are stretched very thin, but our team is doing the best they can to help as many people as possible.
Tuesday, August 17th, 2021: Sleeping In The Rain Last Night
Tropical Storm Grace made landfall on Haiti last night. Still afraid to sleep inside, people have made makeshift tents with branches and sticks, whatever material they can find to sleep outside in the rain.
Tropical Storm Grace has created more mudslides making a more difficult to reach the affected areas and delayed search and rescue for over 12 hours.
Today, our team went to our nearby city, Petit Goave to rally donations and volunteers to help with the rescue. We have nurses ready to volunteer and help with the wounded.
To say I’m proud of them is an understatement. After the 7.2 earthquake that hit the southwest region of Haiti on Saturday, these three LEADERS, David, Johnson, and Daniel rose up to the occasion. They are currently making daily 3-4 hour drives to Les Cayes to help with search and rescue, bring much needed supplies such as clean water, and drive survivors to the hospital. I can’t express how full my heart feels to see us raise up leaders to put Haiti in the hands of Haitian. (If you were with me in 2013, you know that was my mission statement.)
Help me keep these three + their team in your prayers.
Monday, August 16th, 2021: Emergency Haiti Earthquake Response
Another tragedy hits Haiti.
I just got off the phone with our program assistant, Daniel and I need to share what is happening on the grounds. This is not an easy one for me to write.
On Saturday, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the southern part of Haiti - about a month after the assassination of the Haitian president at a time where gang violence is at an all-time high. The country hasn’t yet recovered from the 7.0 earthquake in 2010 that killed a quarter of a million people. And here we are again.
Currently, reports claim there are more than 1400 people dead, over 6000 injured, and over 30,000 homeless. I do not doubt that these numbers will grow exponentially. The slow rescue mission is going on mostly by the local residence. There is a lack of Haitian search and rescue team, Haitian authorities, or the police force present at this time. Landslides have blocked the main roads making it difficult for rescue teams and supplies to get to the affected areas.
We are thankful to report our village Fond Doux was about 40 miles from the epicenter and everyone is accounted for. Thank you to all of you who reached out. But everyone is sleeping outside because aftershocks are still being felt and they are afraid to go into buildings. Even hospitals have set up makeshift tents and beds outside. But Tropical Storm Grace that’s expected to turn into a hurricane is now approaching Haiti as I’m writing. Heavy rain is making landfall, which will cause more landslides and make search and rescue that much harder - while everyone sleeps outside in the rain.
A team of young men from our village has come together to drive 3-4 hours to the most affected area, Les Cayes to help with the rescue, removing rubbles with their bare hands, pulling people out, and driving them to any hospital that is willing to take them. The drinking water is muddy and contaminated now in the affected areas and people have lost everything. Our young men are bringing with them anything they can find, like bags of clean water, rice, and beans to give to the survivors.
Daniel’s voice is what got me - normally very upbeat was sounding so heavy. “This is a lot... It is very hard to see,” he says. I can’t imagine how the Haitian people are coping with all this tragedy, one after another. They are such a resilient group of people.
The last thing I told Daniel was, “You are not alone. I am going to do what I can to support you.”
I ask that you join me in sending them support during this critical moment. Every hour counts.