September 2021 Newsletter: From Response to Reconstruction
We are deeply grateful to our network for your incredible solidarity and generosity in the aftermath of the earthquake in southern Haiti a month ago. The most current assessments of the impact indicate over 2,200 people were killed and another estimated 12,000 people injured. Overall, more than 136,000 families have been impacted by the disaster.
Although many large aid groups immediately mobilized to respond to the earthquake, we have been particularly moved and inspired by the outpouring of support within Haiti. It has been humbling to see the ways in which – despite the economic and security challenges faced across the country – neighbors have reached out to help neighbors and Haitians from across the country have put their own lives on the line to support communities in the south. It is this locally led aid that has permeated the smaller rural areas where the larger aid groups have not reached.
Over the past weeks our teams, consisting of longtime Haitian collaborators and colleagues with families in the affected regions, have been able to reach 13 different communes* in the impacted areas in the south, many remote, to provide essential items for food and hygiene, as well as materials for immediate shelter in the aftermath of the disaster. Our teams have been working tirelessly, traveling back and forth from the south to Port-au-Prince through tense and insecure areas to deliver locally-purchased aid supplies. It has been a tremendous effort among grassroots and community organizations to reach these areas and we are thankful for the support of SOIL’s community that has enabled us to bring critical supplies.
We are also acutely aware that there is still so much to be done in the medium and long term to rebuild the communities and households that have been greatly impacted. Over the past week, our teams have made the strategic decision to shift the remaining emergency response resources that SOIL has mobilized to working directly with local authorities in the communes to identify the most vulnerable households to support the reconstruction of their homes. Following the advice of local community leaders, we see this as a way to provide a more long-term impact for earthquake victims. Our response teams have already begun to identify households in greatest need, and supplies will be purchased in the local communities to support local economies.
We are so proud of our response teams and their tireless effort, each and every day, to reach the most vulnerable people. And to our supporters (you!) and your commitment to Haiti. Your response has been deeply felt in these communities and for that, we are grateful.
As we now transition to this new reconstruction effort, we are also closing our emergency response fundraising campaign. Our long-time work and deep roots in Haiti enables us to quickly respond to emergencies and provide critical immediate support. However, we also recognize the need to not only refocus on SOIL’s core work, providing equitable access to sanitation in northern Haiti, but also to recognize the ongoing long-term work that other organizations are able to do in the region impacted by the earthquake.
If you would like to continue to support the response efforts, we encourage you to take a look at this list of organizations that are continuing to provide impact in the region: Haiti Response Coalition List of Trusted Orgs
We encourage you to support Haiti if you are able, either through continuing to support relief and reconstruction efforts with trusted partners or through an ongoing commitment to contribute to SOIL’s mission of ensuring that the basic human right of sanitation is accessible to all. We thank you for your solidarity, from the bottom of hearts.
With love from Haiti,
The SOIL team
*Communes where SOIL teams delivered supplies: Arnaud, Miragoan, Baradères, Petit-Trou-de-Nippes, Camp-Perrin, Duchity, Roche-à-Bateaux, Les Anglais, Anse-a-Veau, L’Asile, Cavaillon, Les Cayes, Jérémie
SOIL depends on individual donations from people like you to fund our lifesaving, earth-restoring sanitation services in Haiti. Please consider supporting SOIL today.
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