Urgent: Hurricane Matthew Relief

Last update: November 13, 12:20 pm

To date over $36,500 has been raised to assist in hurricane relief and make sure that vital programs continue to operate.

A team of 6 Canadians just returned from Haiti, after seeing firsthand the effects of the hurricane and the progress in recovering and rebuilding. They were very impressed of the efforts of our Haitian partners to reach those in greatest need. Rayjon Share Care staff have been busy with multiple mobile clinics. They saw over 1,065 patients in 4 days and distributed much needed food, medicines, water purification tablets and oral rehydration solutions. Many volunteers from the community assisted in these efforts. Here are some photos from the hurricane response:

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2 of the Canadian team also visited the Rayjon supported project in Consuelo, Dominican Republic. Families in that area have also been affected by the hurricane, with much damage done to home already in dire need of repair. Children continue to arrive at the preschool hungry and often in need of medical attention.

In the aftermath of the hurricane we will continue to support vital programs, and to assist those in greatest need. Medical supplies at both Rayjon supported clinics are being purchased, cholera prevention continues to be a focus of education outreach, and canteen programs will start at rural schools to ensure that children can focus on learning (and not on their hunger).  

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Last update: October 27, 2016  9:13pm

Rayjon Share Care Haiti staff have been incredibly busy this week. Mobile health clinics have gone out to multiple rural communities in the St Marc area. They are distributing medicines, treating many patients, and teaching cholera prevention. Water purification tablets are also being distributed. Many families have received emergency food packets as well. Dr. Bayard, the nurses, and health agents have been working tirelessly. There are many confirmed cases of cholera, but they are also seeing high numbers of patients with fevers, malaria, and other illnesses. Over 700 patients seen in 3 days.

Rayjon Share Care is actively involved in hurricane response efforts in Haiti and is seeking the support of our donors at this time. Many families within our project areas have lost their crops, livestock, and livelihoods. Our project area in Haut de St. Marc has been placed under a red alert issued by the Haitian Ministry of Health for cholera and typhoid. Cholera has now been reported in both our Pinson and Gilbert project areas.

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We are preparing for outbreaks of cholera and other water-borne illnesses that will follow the path of the hurricane (in the Artibonite region that has been the epicenter of cholera since the 2010 earthquake), and are working to prevent the spread of disease and suffering.  Rayjon supports 2 health clinics in the region, servicing an area of about 30,000 people. Additional medical supplies, IVs for hydration and access to clean water and purification tablets are urgent needs.

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The loss of crops has placed increased hardship on thousands. More and more families are going hungry and there is a reduced ability to pay for basic necessities: shelter, food, clothing, medicine. In turn, these losses will affect the community schools and health centers that rely on community contributions such as tuition collection and nominal fees for health care services.

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Rayjon will be assisting families in need with tuition support and through our ongoing partnership with local schools. Canteens will be commenced at the schools to ensure children are receiving life-saving nutrition and attention.

At our partner malnutrition center in Cap Haitien, staff are reporting big increases in the number of children admitted and the number of families seeking immediate help. Refugees are coming from the south in search of food, housing, and medical care. Rayjon Share Care will be there to assist the “Red Zone” families in most dire need.

The adult literacy centers Rayjon supports as well as our micro credit beneficiaries have also been hit hard by the disaster. Many of the women in the cooperatives have explained some of the difficulties that they have experienced since the hurricane. For example, one literacy center suffered severe structural damage and is no longer safe for the women to meet in.

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In addition, we are asking our supporters to be mindful of the general fragility of the Haitian government at this time. The presidential election has been postponed for the 5th time and Haiti is operating with an interim (non-elected) government that has reduced capacity to effectively coordinate and carryout large-scale relief efforts. The role of NGOs in working collaboratively at this time cannot be understated.

Last update: October 25, 9:28 am

The hurricane’s devastation was not limited to Haiti, but also spread into parts of the Dominican Republic. At the Rayjon-supported Consuelo Community Development Project in Consuelo, DR, project director Jorge reports much damage done to neighbouring homes. Families in the neighbourhood known as “Barrio 41” were already living in dire conditions and the damage to their homes is causing further suffering. Children coming to the centre receive one hot meal daily… and it is often the only meal of the day.

Last update: October 20, 6:44 pm

Here are some photos shared by Rayjon Share Care Haiti staff, of the damage done to beneficiaries’ crops:

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Last update: October 14, 12:07 pm

Tonight we mark Rayjon’s 30th anniversary with a special event at the Sarnia Riding Club. It is with mixed emotions: we recognize the positive impacts of 30 years of community development, at the same time as we stand in support of our Haitian friends and partners in the aftermath of another natural disaster. We request your support. Here is the latest from the field (report by Andre Jean-Pierre, Haiti Field Director):

1.) Community Schools: I have spoken with Wesner and Luckner and according to them many families in St. Marc have been affected by the hurricane in many different ways. In the rural areas many families have lost their agricultural activities, crops, livestock’s, and even income from making charcoals. This will affect the community schools such as Gilbert and Pinson because it is through these means that parents are able to pay for the tuition’s. This is one aspect, but the other aspect is that cholera is expected to go up so families will  be spending more money on health care and medications than expected and this too may affect their abilities to pay school tuition’s.

2.) Health Care: Due to the fact that the MSPP (Public Health) has put out a red alert for Cholera and Typhoid in the coming months… this is telling us that we may need to increase on the amount of meds we have available as well as asking the health agents to be more aggressive in getting the message out. We may need to focus a lot of effort in the health care sector for the next three months to make sure that we are ready and on top of it if things are get worse.

3.) Community Development: The alpha program as well as micro credit beneficiaries have also been hit hard by the hurricane, many of the women in the cooperatives have explained to Wesner and Luckner some of the difficulties that they have experienced since the hurricane, for example the Venot cooperative is suffering from the location where they meet is on top of a mountain, (I am sure you all have been there, it is also the location where the Venot alpha classes meet, the one with the very scary steps), seems like running rain water is eating away the dirt under the building and at one angle the building may not be too sturdy…

4.) RSCH Staff Members: Wesner and Luckner have also mentioned to me that there are some RSCH staff members that has been hit by the hurricane. For example Luc lost most of his crops in his plantation field and also Mr. Luckner suffered roofs at his home being torn off by the hurricane…

5.) Red Zone Families in Cap: There have been a lot of families in general joining the SHC since the hurricane and the Center is receiving a lot of people that are in need. But one of the things that we have noticed is that many families that were already a member of the SHC are now bringing it more kids and other family members…Many people from the south have fled and are coming to live with families in Cap and other parts of the North in search of refuge…families may be taking on other family members that were hit by the hurricane in the south.

Last update: October 13, 2016 2:04 pm

There has already been very adverse effects upon our beneficiaries and we expect it to grow in the coming weeks. While our projects are not located in some of the hardest hit areas, many families have lost crops and seen damage to their homes. We are anticipating major spikes in cholera and typhoid in the region. In responding to the hurricane, Rayjon is currently preparing our health clinics to receive and assist an influx of patients, increasing the amounts of medicines we have on hand, and preparing to assist families struggling more than ever to make ends meet. We are expecting, as with previous disasters, that all programs will see a rise in numbers: there will be more children needing treatment at the malnutrition center, there will be more families unable to pay school tuition fees for their children, there will be a greater demand at the health clinics. As migrant refugees that have lost their homes enter “our” communities for help we will be offering whatever assistance we can.

Last update: October 6, 9:44 am

The following are photos taken by Rayjon Share Care Haiti staff in St. Marc, along the shoreline yesterday:

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Last update: October 5, 9:24am

The hurricane is causing widespread destruction and flooding and is likely to trigger dangerous mudslides. The storm is also causing significant devastation and flooding in the Dominican Republic.

Haiti is particularly vulnerable to devastation because of the environmental degradation and deforestation particularly in the rural mountainous areas (leading to precarious conditions and possible landslides), the instability of the interim government still awaiting postponed elections, conditions of extreme poverty, and the lack of infrastructure or emergency response capacity. The flooding will inevitably increase the risk of disease, including cholera (which claimed the lives of 10,000 people post-earthquake).

Rayjon is committed to helping the Haitian & Dominican people. We will be collecting donations to help in the aftermath.

We anticipate a very adverse effect upon our beneficiaries and have heard preliminary concerns from St Marc already as the hurricane struck, where many are taking refuge in emergency shelters. Crops are being completely washed away. We are expecting a reduced capacity to contribute to schools, medical care and other basic needs. There will be a great need for medical supplies and emergency assistance.

We ask at this time that you keep the people of Haiti and the Dominican in your thoughts and prayers.

To donate online please click here.

All of our staff members are reported safe at this time. Wesner, our project coordinatory in St. Marc, spent the day at a temporary shelter on high ground. M. Luckner (RSCH director) and Luc (RSCH driver/maintenance) braved the storm at home. Andre and his family are relatively safe in Cap Haitien, which while experiencing extreme flooding has been hit less hard than the St. Marc area. Jorge (Consuelo project director) reports grave conditions and flooding in the Dominican Republic as well.

Elections (scheduled for Sunday) have once again been postponed. All schools have been ordered to remain closed until Monday.

Jorge shared this photo from the Dominican yesterday

Jorge shared this photo from the Dominican yesterday

 

Last update: October 4, 7:59pm

Torrential rain continues to bombard the country. Flooding is widespread and it has been reported that the bridge connecting Port-au-Prince with southern Haiti has collapsed, impeding emergency responders. Winds up to 230 km/h have been reported.

Last update: October 4, 11:00 am

We are closely following the path of Hurricane Matthew and listening to official reports as they become available. Hurricane Matthew has just hit the south-western tip of Haiti and is currently travelling north.

We are maintaining close contact with our partners in Haiti & the Dominican Republic, and will share any updates we receive as they come in. We know at this point that temporary shelters are being constructed across the country, and that people are doing all they can to find shelter to brave the coming storm. Our thoughts & prayers are with the Haitian and Dominican people as they prepare for the hurricane.

Rayjon is committed to helping the Haitian and Dominican people in whatever way we can.

Our project areas in Haiti are in the Haut de St. Marc region, and in Cap Haitian (shown on the map below). All staff are reported safe at this time.

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