November 12 – 13, 2016
News & Updates from hurricane matthew
Mitch Albom is currently visiting the Have Faith Haiti Mission and will be sending updates. Here is one:
This is what Jeremie, on the coast, looks like 10 days after Hurricane. Homes gone. No food. Crops blown away. Water, medicine, in dire short supply. Many of our staff have their families there. We are organizing a bus and trip there to feed and clothe their loved ones.
A former volunteer currently in Haiti was able to visit the mission. The children are in good health and spirits. Some of the staff members are still waiting to hear from their family members on the south coast, which was hit the hardest and where all communication is down.
Here, kids are helping to clean up the bougainvillea bush that came down.
Thank you all for your kind support. If you could keep the family members of our staff who are still unaccounted for, we would be grateful.
While the worst of Matthew’s storm potential has passed Haiti, the worst effects of the storm are still unknown as rescue workers are not yet able to get to the areas hardest hit–areas without the infrastructure and resources they need to endure the storm. Nor its aftereffects–such as mudslides, contaminated water, and homelessness.
UPDATE 8:00 PM:
We’re left with a drizzle. Winds have died down and it seems to have passed. Inside, we’ve kept busy doing yoga, dancing, singing, drawing, making bracelets, doing puzzles, reading, and playing various games. The kids have enjoyed this hurricane a little more than they should have. We’ve had a number of discussions about how lucky we are and how thankful we are for our shelter.
We had an easy day compared to others, but the rain has now picked up. Thunder rolls in over the mountains and we can see that while the worst of the storm may have passed, rain will continue for days. I’m getting reports that thousands of homes were washed away and friends in the mountains have had their roofs ripped off. Fallen trees have divided homes and many streets are flooded.
UPDATE as of 4:00 PM:
They are safe. There is ome tree damage, lots of water, but nothing terrible. Electricity is on and off, which was expected. Nannies have stayed home so the kids are with two volunteers who live and teach at the mission. Although they outnumber the adults more than usual, the kids are being great, staying inside, and at their best behavior. We are glad and grateful to have clean water to drink for now, as that will be a big issue going forward for Haiti.
Clean drinking water is an issue in Haiti on the driest of days. According the Center for Human Rights, nearly 70% of the population does not have access to potable water. A functional, nation-wide sewage and plumbing system is practically non-existent. Contaminated water leads directly to waterborne illnesses, which account for more than half of the deaths every year and high infant mortality rates. We saw this firsthand in the cholera epidemic that struck Haiti shortly after the earthquake in 2010.
We have been working for the last five years to upgrade the facilities to include weather-resistant structures for dorms and the school, and built sanitary toilets and showers. The improvement in their health from 2010 to now is incredible.