Weathering the Storm
An Update on Our Partners in Haiti
Hurricane Matthew has destroyed what many people have fought to build.
For more than four days, Matthew ripped through coastal areas along the North Atlantic Ocean, sustaining winds of over 130 miles per hour. According to the United Nations, the devastation wreaked by the storm left hundreds dead, thousands displaced, and more than 1.4 million people in need of urgent aid. The hardest-hit area was Haiti, with over 800 people killed and outbreaks of cholera threatening to push the death toll even higher.
Many survivors in these ravaged Haitian communities have lost everything they own—again. In a struggling economy still suffering from the destruction of the 2010 earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people, countless women have already made terrible sacrifices to survive. These sacrifices include working in inhumane conditions, giving up children to orphanages, and even selling themselves to provide for their families.
At Women at Risk, International, we understand the hard choices that Haitian women face, and we work to make sure they know they’re not alone. We do this through partnerships with three Haitian charities, helping them to empower the wounded and at-risk in this impoverished island nation. When disaster strikes, we reach out across the world with promises of hope and circles of protection. Here’s an update on how our Haitian partners are faring in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.
Our partnering safehouse weathered the storm with all residents and staff safe and facilities undamaged. However, others in their neighborhood were not so fortunate. This includes many of the thirty-five women enrolled in the safehouse’s new community outreach, an educational and vocational training program set to launch this month. Most of these women and their families have lost the majority of their personal belongings. The safehouse is collecting donations to put together hygiene kits for these women and others affected by the hurricane. The safehouse hopes that by covering these basic needs, they can encourage and empower both the women and the communities they serve.
The eighty-one children housed in our partnering orphanage are safe, as the orphanage also escaped destruction. A mountain shielded most of the town from the full force of the winds, but the orphanage still experienced a three-day power outage, and some of its thirty-seven employees lost their homes. The orphanage is gearing up to house and serve additional children in the face of this national crisis.
All facilities at a partnering micro-enterprise program remain intact. The program’s local school may have taken on some flooding, but the building itself is still standing. Workers are currently providing hot meals for the displaced. They are also assessing property damage as locals struggle to live without walls or a roof to keep them safe.
Here in the United States, several of our partners were in or near the path of the hurricane. Matthew passed over most of them without invoking serious damage. One of our partnering safehouses, however, is experiencing significant flooding; workers have already started planning on how to best restore the properties.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, WAR, Int’l encourages you to join us in supporting these programs. Pray for the people of Haiti, that they will recover from this devastating storm. Pray for our international partners, that they can reach the women and children who need their help. Finally, pray for our domestic partners, especially for the flooded safehouses, that God would continue to provide for them and their ministries.
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