There is Hope Amid Despair in Haiti
Haiti’s death toll from the August 14, 2021 earthquake has climbed to more than 2,200, with 344 people still missing. In addition, as the country’s Civil Protection Agency said on Sunday, more than 12,260 people were injured in the quake, and an estimated 53,000 houses were destroyed. Please, see the article: https://www.axios.com/haiti-earthquake-aid-death-toll-photos-8a93c1bd-368e-47db-a404-ac4b002b9f0f.html.
As we continue our work accompanying Global Ministries’ Partners in their assessment of the situation in Haiti, I can say that they are living challenging times. The Ecumenical Foundation for Peace and Justice/House of Hope (FOPJ/HOH) have a sustained effort to accompanying forty-seven families in the Grand’Anse department for several years. That has been part of its work to promote and protect children’s rights. Five years ago, they were all victims during the passage of Hurricane Matthew. Unfortunately, because of this recent earthquake, they lost everything. However, Polycarpe Joseph, FOPJ/House of Hope’s Executive Director, shared a proposal with me based on the people’s resilience and capabilities in the southeastern part of the country. These are his plans, based on the information gathered through the department:
“First, we will work with the communities, providing food, medicines, and first aid kits. The community is already organized and capable of providing for the people who are in dire need. It is important to deal with this present stage of vulnerability. House of Hope will be providing that with the accompaniment of Global Ministries. Then, our plan is to assist in the reconstruction of homes. The people from the community will work rebuilding or repairing their houses destroyed by the earthquake. Our idea is that the houses we could build will have two bedrooms, a community room, and a hallway. As we provide food, medicines, and first aid kits, we will also evaluate their conditions regarding food security and the local economy. It will be crucial that those families could count on sustainable alternatives to move forward.”
Our experience working with FOPJ/HOH has proven to be successful, even through troubled times. They worked through difficult circumstances recently in Ganthier, Haiti. There, a river burst its banks, flooding nearby farmland. Ganthier is a commune in the Croix-des-Bouquets neighborhood, in the Ouest (West) department of Haiti. It has 71,261 inhabitants. FOPJ/HOH provided for food and water supplies, reparation of homes, and recovery of crops in the rural areas at the mountainside. Remembering that experience and how they could provide relief and hope to those communities gives me a hopeful perspective that they will also work to assist communities in the southeastern part of the island.
To accompany our partners, CONASPEH and House of Hope, you can make a financial contribution to support their ministry of accompaniment to victims and families. Information on sending gifts to Global Ministries online, by check in the mail, or by phone can be found at www.globalministries.org/give.