Hurricane Matthew Relief in Southern Haiti
First of all, thank you. Thank you to so many of you who reached out to SOIL to make sure that we are ok here in Haiti; to the hundreds who have donated to our relief fundraiser; to our friends and staff here in Haiti who put all hands on deck to organize a trip down to the south to bring much needed supplies and support to those who have lost loved ones, homes, livelihoods. Your outpouring of love and support has been truly touching.
We are relieved that all of our staff are all safe, but many have family in the south whose homes were destroyed. At this point, nearly 900 people are confirmed to have died during Hurricane Matthew in southern Haiti, and our hearts go out the all of the families who are mourning this tremendous loss of life. Towns like Jeremie and Les Cayes suffered devastating destruction, and the full extent of damages is not yet known.
SOIL is not a relief organization, but we are here in Haiti and feel the need to offer whatever support we can to the victims of this devastating hurricane. And because of all of you, we have already raised over $25,000 to do so. 100% of these funds will go toward purchasing emergency relief supplies in Haiti and transporting them to the south, to be distributed through trusted local officials. We are firmly committed to supporting Haitian led and organized relief efforts, as we believe this is the best way and fastest way to get help to those who need it without damaging the Haitian economy in the long term. Thank you to all who have reached out in solidarity and support of this goal.
On Saturday, October 8, we gathered bedding, clothes, chlorox, soap and 50 sacks of rice, and transported these supplies to the south along with a delegation of community organizers and nurses from Sopudep. As flood waters descended, the delegation made it across the river in Petit Goave where a bridge had collapsed.
Once arriving in Les Cayes, the SOIL/Sopudep team made camp in Kanperen, a commune just up the mountain from the city, where many came to take refuge from the storm surge. All of the supplies were delivered to the Kasek (local government official) of Kanperen, who orchestrated the distribution.
With our first delegation a success, we look forward to gathering more supplies to send down with local partners. Look out for more updates in the coming days!