‘The Work Has Not Stopped’: FFTP Builds Homes, Schools, Satellite Offices After August Earthquake
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Jan. 31, 2022) Families in Haiti still struggling and left homeless from a massive earthquake in August face even more challenges after two more significant quakes struck the nation’s southern peninsula one week ago, killing at least two people and injuring dozens of students.
And today, the people of Cap-Haitien in the northern part of the country are dealing with flooding from weekend rains that threatens their homes. Food For The Poor is responding with aid, including disaster relief kits and five containers of MannaPack rice meals and medical supplies.
On Jan. 24, nearly 200 homes were destroyed and 591 homes were damaged by the magnitude 5.3 and 5.1 quakes that occurred within an hour of each other, according to news reports.
The back-to-back quakes came a little more than five months after last August’s quake that killed more than 2,200 people and destroyed tens of thousands of homes, including at least 258 schools, in the same region.
Actions taken by the charity since the August quake include:
- Providing homes for 186 families, and starting a homebuilding campaign for two villages with 100 homes each.
- Supplying building materials to build temporary schools with plans for 18 more temporary schools. At least four temporary schools for 1,582 students have been completed.
- Designating 214 shipments of aid for earthquake relief from its Coconut Creek headquarters. FFTP-Haiti has successfully delivered 206 truckloads to the area affected by the quake.
- Installing a water treatment system in partnership with Water Mission, benefiting 5,000 people in the town of Maniche.
Haiti already was in an extreme crisis before the earthquakes, and the situation worsened when President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated in his home in July. For months, armed gangs have strengthened their hold on the Caribbean nation with violence and kidnappings surging. At times, roads out of the capital, Port-au-Prince, have been blocked.
“Regular activities are not back to normal. There are still significant hurdles,” FFTP President/CEO Ed Raine said.
“But the work has not stopped,” Raine added. “We’re still getting our distribution out and relief is getting to families who desperately need our help. It is truly a testament to the resilience, the creativity and the persistence of our team members there.”
Construction is under way on the first of two satellite offices outside Port-au-Prince to provide a space for team members to oversee work and build relationships in the surrounding community. The first center is in Mirogoane.
“Regardless of how difficult it might be to move around the country, these satellite offices next to already-established distribution centers will set up our team members to partner with the churches distributing aid,” Raine said.
“This is more than just being there,” he added. “This allows us to be integrally involved with everything that’s going on, being our eyes and ears and sharing information back with our office in Port-au-Prince. They can be the constant contact so we have a better understanding, better relationships and better supervision, all of the things that will help us do our work much better.”
All of the charity’s work is made possible thanks to its partners and to donors from South Florida and across the nation who have opened their hearts and given generously to help their suffering brothers and sisters in Haiti.
In December, FFTP partnered with Neighbors 4 Neighbors, a nonprofit organization based in Miami and affiliated with Miami’s CBS affiliate WFOR-Ch. 4, to send eight pallets of food to Haiti. With a donation of $17,000, the organization sent nearly 17,000 pounds of food, including whole kernel corn, pork and beans, chicken and dumplings, and sardines to support FFTP’s relief efforts in Haiti.
This is on top of an outpouring of support from other community organizations and churches.
In September, 80 volunteers from the Miami Dolphins, Miami Marlins, Florida Panthers, businesses and community groups joined FFTP to pack more than 16,000 pounds of aid for Haiti. In October, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, PortMiami and MSC Foundation partnered with FFTP to pack 1,782 pounds of food, 182 baby kits and 146 cleaning kits. The Miami Marlins and CITY Furniture teamed up to donate 128 Tempur Sealy twin mattresses to FFTP to help families who lost everything in the earthquake.
“We have been so blessed to be supported by the community to help us provide immediate relief to families in Haiti and continuing on as we move into a strategy to provide homes and rebuild schools,” Raine said. “We have been in Haiti for almost 36 years. Our commitment to Haiti is not only constant and substantial but to be there for the long haul.”
Donors can continue helping FFTP deliver aid to Haiti by making a cash donation. Please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org/haitiemergency.
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry children and families living in poverty primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for vulnerable children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.
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