Ever feel like you’re having a string of bad luck? Consider the past several months in Haiti- Dramatic increases in gang violence and kidnappings, rampant inflation, the president gets assassinated, 7.2 magnitude earthquake destroys your home, 3 days later you receive 15 inches of rain from a tropical storm. To say that Haitians living in the Southern part of Haiti are having a few bad days is like saying the sun is a little warm. Given this environment, foreign response has been tempered and Haitians have stepped up from all over the country to help their brothers and sisters in the South. I’ll never forget the call I received the day of the earthquake from our Haitian leader, Djail Covksy Aimable. “What are we going to do? We have to help!” Covksy pleaded. My response was in complete agreement, and I asked him to come up with a plan of how The Haiti Health Network could best support.
The team joined forces with long time Haiti Health Network partner, Hope for Haiti once they got to Les Ceyes to plan mobile clinics in the most remote areas. Their proximity and quick response allowed them to get to the hardest hit areas very quickly. The team was able to get to two key areas: Lepretre and Sucrerie Henri and distribute medical care, hygiene kits containing food and water, and leave diagnostic medical equipment for local medical providers who lost so much. In addition, biomedical technician, Evenel Osias worked at two hospitals in Les Ceyes, OFATMA and Hopital Immaculate Concepcion to help repair critical medical equipment like c-arms and oxygen concentrators.
We’re extremely proud of our team and we know there are thousands more examples just like this one where Haitians in Port au Prince and Northern Haiti dropped everything to go to the South to help.
It will take months and perhaps years to rebuild every home, school, and medical clinic that was instantly destroyed on August 14, but we are encouraged by the intense and effective local response. In 2010, billions of dollars were donated that never made it to the front lines to help the people who needed it most. There is unanimous agreement that this time will be different. Aid will be localized and focused on those that need it most and on organizations with a long-term presence and history in Haiti.
The Dalton Foundation will continue in its support of the Haiti Health Network and is actively connecting resources with those most in need on the ground, hosting collaborative and educational earthquake response meetings, and organizing supply shipments into the region with key partners. We’re praying for quick, effective response to continue and for a break from tragedy for the people of Haiti!
Psalm 34:18 “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”