Haiti Disaster Relief: Hurricane Matthew

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Education Equals Hope has donated more than $27,000 to Haiti from the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in 2016.  With the donated funds we were able to purchase clean water, food, sheet metal, textbook replacements wood and nails.

Executive Directors trip to Haiti and the aftermath of the hurricane: (April 2017)

Upon arriving in Port au Prince I didn’t really know what to expect.  Leaving the airport my eyes soaked in every ounce of poverty that sank to my very soul.  The traffic was crazy, garbage on every corner, some still burning, people washing clothes at curbside with a child playing in the water beside her, women carrying rice on their heads, streets of vendors not knowing how they live because everyone sold the same thing, dirt, heat, chaos.  After living in Ecuador for more than 10 years I thought I was desensitized to poverty, but after seeing the poorest country in the Americas and one of the poorest in the world, I’m not sure if anyone living outside Haiti could really be desensitized to it.

We were taken to the southern part of the island to Les Cayes, a town that received the brunt of the hurricane that hit in October.  In town you couldn’t really see damage but when we went to the countryside to the two schools we fund, it looked as if the hurricane passed by only weeks ago.  Trees on their side, half roofs, homes destroyed, churches crumbled.  When we arrived at the first school in Savanette, on a very rainy day, the students were outside the classrooms.  Why?  Because that is where they stayed dry, the classrooms had water dripping from the seams of the roof that had been through strong forced winds, and though from its appearance looks like it survived but in all reality it didn’t.  Many of these children walk an hour and a half to get to school sometimes in the rain hoping to have a dry roof over their heads and protective walls but that is hard with the damage from the hurricane.

Another day we travelled to another school in Cavaillon, 7 miles outside of Les Cayes though a 40 minute ride due to the roads/mud/donkeys/motorcycles.  I had seen pictures of the school, like many of our donors, but looking at the damaged roof in front of me I was taken aback.  The church, that also holds three classrooms, was horribly damaged by the hurricane.  One of the classes that takes place in the church is the kindergarten, because their building was reduced to large cement stumps and dust.  On rainy days you cannot have children in part of the church because the roof is completely pealed back like a banana.

When I was in Haiti I saw poverty that sank very deep, but something else I saw were smiling warm faces happy to see another day of life and a ray of hope.  Education Equals Hope needs to raise funds for the schools to RAISE THE ROOF.  Please help us give these children a safe haven to learn.  We need to raise more than $24,000 to raise the roofs on two schools.  We need your help now more than ever because last week the southern part of Haiti has received a lot of rain, almost too much, and homes are being destroyed and some of our children cannot go to school because of the roofs.  As of September 2017 we still need to raise $14,000 for the roof in Savanette and $10,000 to build the kindergarten classroom in Cavaillon, Haiti.

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