Project Updates

HURRICANES MARIA & IRMA

Maria has battered the Dominican Republic with heavy rain and wind, especially in the north. In the town of Consuelo, Project Director Georges and neighbours sheltered in place at the Rayjon project site (Consuelo Community Development Project or CCDP). The neighbourhood is extremely flooded. Even heavy rain causes much turmoil in his community- homes previously weakened by Irma and last year’s Matthew are in danger and water brings increased risk of illness and disease. 
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Further from the eye of the storm, Cap Haitian, Haiti still has received torrential rain. Most businesses and schools were closed for two days during Hurricane Maria. Many streets are flooded.
Hurricane Irma
Irma lashed the northern shore of the Dominican Republic and crossed north of Haiti on September 7, 2017.Rayjon is a long-term partner on the ground in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Our main focus will be to ensure that programs supporting beneficiaries continue uninterrupted, and that resources are available where most needed.Dominican Republic: Flooding is quite widespread. At the Rayjon project site (CCDP), temporary shelter was provided for neighbourhood families whose homes (many already in a state of serious disrepair after Hurricane Matthew last year) were damaged and flooded. Project Director Jorge has requested emergency funds to assist with the provision of clean water and food while families wait for the water to recede.Cap Haitien, Haiti: Power was disrupted for two full days, making communication very difficult. Field Director Andre Jean Pierre and his family, as well as all Sacred Heart Centre staff are safe. Cap Haitien (Haiti’s 2nd largest city, on Haiti’s northern coast) appears to have been spared the full force of Hurricane Irma as the storm moved north, but still was battered with intense rainfall and heavy winds, leading to many flooded streets and poor access to power and clean water. The Haitian government instituted a curfew and all schools and offices were closed down. Residents were advised to shelter in place. A lot of trees have fallen, some roads were damaged, and there are reports of several houses being destroyed.Cap Haitien is vulnerable to flooding and dangerous mudslides. Health organizations working in Haiti have expressed concern over the potential to see a rise in cholera. Although cholera cases right now are considered low, the disease remains a serious concern. We have already seen an increase in the number of people seeking assistance at the Sacred Heart Centre’s Nutrition Program for children. Please continue to keep Cap Haitien in your thoughts and prayers as they recover from the damage.

The Sacred Heart Centre will be an important resource for families in the coming weeks and months. Funds are needed to increase the supply of food and medically formulated nutritional supplements for infants and children, as well as to provide emergency assistance to “Red Zone” families in the most dire need.

We are committed to using whatever limited resources we receive in the most effective and accountable way to support our partners and the local communities through this crisis.

capcoastCap Haitien coastline, September 7, 2017

NEW Resident Doctor at Gilbert Clinic, Haiti

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The Gilbert clinic welcomed Dr. Philius Pierre (shown here between Field Director Andre and Dr. Bayard) in January 2017. It is hard to describe just how important this new addition is. Having Dr. Philius means that thousands of people in this remote mountainous area of Haiti have access to a qualified doctor 24/7 for the first time. The nearest hospital is two hours away and very difficult to access when you don’t have transportation.

In February, a young expectant mother in one of the villages surrounding the clinic went into labour. She laboured for over 18 hours, assisted only by local midwives. The situation was becoming grave and she was encouraged by someone in the community to get to the Gilbert clinic, “because they have a doctor there now.” Finally her relatives carried her to Gilbert, which was still a long way off. Around midnight they arrived and Dr. Philius intervened. Unfortunately, it was too late to save the baby. Dr. Philius wanted to transport the mother to the hospital, but it soon became clear that in waiting for transportation she would die. Dr. Philius, with the assistance of a nurse, performed an emergency intervention and was able to save the life of the mother.

As we grieve with her and her family for the loss of the little one, we are thankful for Dr. Philius and improved access to medical care.

Would you consider supporting the Gilbert clinic in the next year?

 

Hard at Work in the Dominican Republic  (Last updated: Feb, 2017)

New Year, New Look for the PLANDESCULBA (Plan de Desarollo Social y Cultural para los Bateyes- known in English as the Consuelo Community Development Project) in the neighbourhood of Barrio 41, Dominican Republic.

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Compare these recent photos of the garden (which is now completely fenced in- no more wandering goats & chickens destroying the harvest!) to those just one month earlier (scroll down below). The garden is now providing nutritious snacks to the children at the preschool (who come from severely impoverished families).

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Many of the neighbourhood homes were severely damaged during Hurricane Matthew. Some of the funds Rayjon received for hurricane relief were used to purchase lumber and tin roofing to help repair the homes that had the most damage. Families that have been sleeping in wet mattresses with ruined bedding and more holes in the walls/roof will now have a dry roof and safe and secure beams overhead. Once again we thank YOU for your generosity!

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Project Updates Post-Hurricane (last updated: December, 2016)

Following Hurricane Matthew, Rayjon Share Care Haiti formed a team of 17 staff and 18 Haitian volunteers to organize and execute mobile health clinics in 4 remote communities. Over 1,000 patients were treated, emergency packets (inc. food, water purification tablets, medicines) were distributed, and health agents provided education and demonstration on cholera prevention. By preventing the spread of cholera, these clinics saved many lives and provided vital assistance to families needing it most.

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RSCH Staff & Volunteers involved in hurricane response

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Community members work to build a road

The community of Pinson is hard at work (without government or foreign aid of any kind) to build by hand a road to their village. We are pleased to report that Grade 7 is underway at both rural elementary schools (that previously only went to Grade 6) with the hope of adding grades 8 and 9 over the next two years- keeping kids in school and furthering their chances of success.

In Cap Haitian program improvements and physical repairs to the building are creating a stimulating environment for the youngest children to learn and grow. The malnutrition centre in Cap Haitian is seeing an influx in patients and funds raised for hurricane relief are going to assist Red Zone families who face increased hardship this year.

Improvements to the nursery space

Improvements to the nursery space

In Consuelo, Dominican Republic, a whole month of rain has damaged neighborhood homes that were already in bad shape. Children continue to come to the preschool hungry. The hot meal they receive at the centre is truly a necessity. Project director Jorge has begun a pilot project raising fish, with the hopes of providing a sustainable protein source for the centre. The garden is doing well, with a new irrigation system and fencing to keep the animals out.

Seedlings in the Consuelo garden

Seedlings in the Consuelo garden

There is much positive impact to report, but we know that ongoing support is needed to keep programs running and to continue the long-term development of the communities we serve.

 In 2016-2017:

  • 600 students need ongoing support to attend school
  • 2 health clinics need medicine and supplies to provide care to a region of about 35,000 people
  • 100 adults rely on Rayjon support to attend literacy classes
  • 75 malnourished children & infants need professional care to return them to health
  • 150 adults will participate in a village banking system giving small business loans