August 30, 2021
It has been just over two weeks since the earthquake struck the southern peninsula of Haiti on August 14th. The death toll has now climbed to over 2,200 with thousands more injured and over 50,000 homes destroyed.
The news from La Gonâve remains the same. Our partner communities have been spared major damage and there have been no deaths or injuries on the island from the earthquake. A concern, however, is the impact of the earthquake’s aftershocks on existing cracks in the walls of the Bill Rice Health Center. These have widened and the staff at the Center have expressed concerns about this damage to Pere Vil. He is in the process of having the damage assessed.
I continue to be in conversation with Pere Vil almost daily to explore what initiatives are underway from la Gonâve to help with the victims of the earthquake, and how specifically La Gonâve Haiti Partners can be helpful. To date, we have been asked to donate orthopedic equipment and supplies, and Dr. Lapointe has been actively involved in these efforts. Several doctors and nurses from la Gonâve are now on the mainland in the south participating in relief efforts.
For those wishing to help support on-the-ground relief efforts, I would recommend four non profits to consider: Medical Benevolence Foundation (https://medicalmission.org); Episcopal Relief & Development (https://www.episcopalrelief.org), Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (https://pda.pcusa.org/situation/haiti/), and Partners in Health (www.pih.org). All have portals specific to the relief efforts underway for the earthquake victims.
The people of Haiti are not strangers to disasters. While this earthquake seems to have had a limited impact on communities of la Gonâve, our partners are bracing for further restrictions in travel, heightened food and medication insecurity, and the impact of migration of friends and family from the earthquake site to the island. If there is a way for our Center and staff to be directly involved in relief efforts, or assist with additional calls for medicines and supplies, I feel confident Dr. Lapointe will provide the leadership needed to respond appropriately and effectively. For those wishing to contribute to LGHP, the instructions for donations are below.
We have asked Pere Vil to convey our concerns and prayers to our friends and colleagues on la Gonâve and the assurance that we are always in community with our partners.
May your day be filled with the Grace and Peace of God who watches over us all,
Chair, Board of Directors
Make checks payable to: La Gonâve Haiti Partners and mail to 2461 Peachtree Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30305. To make an online donation go to lagonavepartners.kindful.com.