The threat of a category 4 hurricane making landfall is a dire announcement under the best of circumstances. But, in a country where there are few emergency shelters or resources to begin with, it's absolutely terrifying. And, though the St. Joseph Family in Haiti fared reasonable well, most assuredly the families of the children who attend Lekol sen Trinite in Jacmel will have experienced significant loss.
Renee Dietrich, who lives at Wings of Hope in Jacmel, reflects: "The LST families are the poorest of the poor....It was scary and hard to live through the hurricane in a sturdy cement building, I can't even imagine what they went through in their simple homes — some with dirt floor and tarp walls. They are exceptionally vulnerable. They will need help." The SJF staff are actively working to survey the families of the LST children to see what damage they may have experienced to their homes, crops, etc. Hearts with Haiti and the SJF will actively work to help those families in need with the resources we have available.
More broadly, the country was suffering from a severe drought just prior to the hurricane, so food was already in short supply. As a result of the hurricane, plantains that weren't harvested have been ruined, and banana and avocado trees have been stripped bare. Relief agencies are cautioning against another cholera outbreak, which will most severely affect the children of Haiti. A UN official has said that this hurricane has caused the biggest humanitarian crisis since the 2010 earthquake.
If you feel called to help support our brothers and sisters in Haiti, Hearts with Haiti has set up a special Hurricane Relief Fund. We will work in partnership with the St. Joseph Family to use the funds toward repairs on the SJF buildings and the homes of SJF staff members and LST students. Many of you have already contributed, and we are extremely grateful for your generosity!
Donations can be made via the Hearts with Haiti website or via check (mailed to our office at West Raleigh Presbyterian at 27 Horne St, Raleigh, 27607 or placed in our mailbox in the mail room).
Mesi anpil for your compassion and prayers!