In 2010, Haiti was hit with an earthquake with a 7.0 magnitude and the country has been recovering ever since. However, on October 4th, Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti another blow. The United Nations reports that at least 1.4 million people are in need of emergency aid.
The hurricane killed 1,000 people and that number is expected to rise as rescue workers attempt to reach previously inaccessible areas. Homes and livestock were destroyed by the storm and the water sources have been fouled, meaning the drinking water is not safe to consume. Victims are asking for help to arrive quickly, especially since there is no clean food or water and the worsening outbreak of cholera is spreading. Before Matthew hit, Haitians were already experiencing 500 new cases of cholera a week and now that number is growing.
The U.N. has launched an emergency appeal of $120 million for life saving help in Haiti for the survivors that are currently at risk of starvation or cholera.
Thanks to Edwidge Danticat, the award-winning Haitian-American author, there’s awareness on a number of organizations offering aid in Haiti. As she said in her Facebook post, ‘A few of these organizations are schools or educational institutions. When a school—however small—has been a trusted part of a community for a long time, families will look to that place for immediate and ongoing support in rebuilding after a disaster like this.’ Edwidge suggested a list of mostly Haitian-led organizations that have been working in the most affected areas of the country, which you can donate to:
Gaskov Clerge Foundation:
The Gaskov Clerge Foundation (GCF) is a nonprofit and philanthropic organization; it was established to promote health, sports, education, and science. The GCF works towards preventative healthcare, developing domestic and international programs and scholarships to promote education, and fosters the mental and physical development of young Haitian athletes. The organization has been appointed as an official facilitator for relief efforts in Les Cayes, Haiti. The organization is responsible for collecting relief funds and distributing relief efforts.
Fondation Aquin Solidarite:
The Fondation Aquin Solidarite (FAS) is a nonprofit that provides cultural, educational, sports, and economic support and mentoring in the city of Aquin. All major infrastructure was destroyed in the city and surrounding areas from Hurricane Matthew, which has left more than 70% of the population of Aquin in need of immediate aid. Funds are desperately needed to buy essential goods for those impacted and displaced, for rebuilding schools, churches, and the pier of Aquin, as well as providing assistance to entrepreneurs so they can rebuild their businesses.
The Three Little Flowers Center:
This nonprofit organization supports education in Haiti. They’re a school where 300 students attend and who’s lives are enriched on a path to higher education. The organization provides a space for you to donate to help in the relief efforts in the Fort Royal community, where severe wind and rain meant a loss of crops, animals, homes, and personal belongings. The area is flooded and muddy and the livelihood of the area has been compromised.
Friends of Paradise des Indiens, Inc.:
This is a nonprofit humanitarian organization that combats illiteracy in Grand’Anse, Haiti. This is done through ‘education, the construction of schools, and programs that foster children’s capacity to be productive adults.’ Friends of Paradise des Indiens, Inc. asks for donations to help Haiti recover from not only the devastating earthquake, but also Hurricane Matthew and the cholera outbreak.
Project St. Anne:
Project St. Anne was founded by a group of women who wanted to give back to their community in Camp-Perrin, Haiti. The organizations goal is to feed the less fortunate and provide children with financial support so they can receive education. Project St. Anne seeks help through donation so they can rebuild their community, which was severely demolished in the storm.
Fonkoze is a family of organizations, helping Haitians through financial and developmental services to empower women and aid them in lifting their families out of poverty. Fonkoze’s main focus is providing services that alleviate poverty in Haiti through resources and support. One of the steps in ‘Fonkoze’s Staircase out of Poverty’ approach involves programs that provide business skill training, education, and health services. With the fear of spreading cholera outbreaks, health officials see preventive measures being vital following the hurricane. Fonkoze is working to prevent the spread of cholera by partnering with small vendors participating in the Boutik Sante program: ‘a social enterprise that brings health care products and services to rural Haiti.’ Center Chiefs will also be trained in the affected areas on combating cholera, through building low-cost latrines and distributing water purification tablets and rehydration salts.
The Lambi Fund of Haiti:
The Lambi Fund of Haiti channels resources and finances to community-based organizations that are dedicated to the social and economic empowerment of Haitians. The organization is dedicated to economic justice, democracy, and alternative sustainable development. The principles of the organization include: non-violence, promotion and advancement of women, community-based, and the use of education and training for empowerment. Recovery donations can be sent the organization online.
Flying High for Haiti:
The nonprofit organization aims at ’empowering communities through sustainable development by providing access to educational opportunities.’ The island of Ile-a-Vache is impoverished and with no electricity, running water or paved roads. Children often drop out of school in the 6th or 7th grade to help their families economically. However, giving the children an opportunity to stay in school can help improve the community and ensure that the local population is not left out from any future job opportunities. Flying High for Haiti accepts donations to help better the community and in particular the children.
Boniface Haiti Foundation:
The St. Boniface Haiti Foundation (SBHF) has provided healthcare to some of Haiti’s most vulnerable people for over 30 years. Following the devastation of Hurricane Matthew SBHF is providing medical care to those most affected by the storm. The organization is sharing real time, on the ground updates in the wake of Matthew to guide the national response efforts coming in from the international community and the Haitian government. SBHF has response teams on the ground that are able to treat the injured and sick and aid in the region’s recovery.
PRODEV is an organization dedicated to giving Haitians access to education and encourages citizens to take an active role in building a just and democratic society. The organization is committed to accessibility, excellence, and civic participation. They also work to support schools and centers in the communities that need it most. In the wake of Matthew, PRODEV is working with its partners to bring aid to 7,000 schoolchildren, families, and communities affected by the storm.
Image by the ASSOCIATED PRESS, via wsj.com.