During the month of June, a 24-hour rainstorm pelted down on large parts of the country. We quickly received reports of flooding in Leogane, which is not far from the HFI Haiti location. Nearby rivers overflowed and water ran down the streets, several feet high, flooding homes, schools, churches and businesses. An official report listed 51 deaths, 18 missing, almost 40,000 families affected and over 31,000 homes under water. Many people lost everything, including furniture, appliances, clothing, food and hygiene supplies. When the water subsided, streets and homes are covered with several inches of mud, leaving a huge clean up job for survivors.
Our local HFI team responded with the distribution of food and hygiene items for over 400 families, affected by the flooding. The distributions took place in a school compound and several volunteers distributed tickets to vulnerable families. The handing out of tickets gives more certainty that vulnerable people are selected and creates a safer, more controlled environment for the distribution. During the first distribution, beneficiaries came over a two-hour time span to receive the relief kits. Food was purchased locally and our HFI team put the kits together, then transported to the school in a truck.
Hope Force actually sponsors four former CSP (our HFI child sponsorship program) students in the vocational school. The Director of the vocational school, who made his facility available for the distribution, Ing Milord is excited about working together: “Hope Force shows its strength and “force” to the community by this humanitarian response. We congratulate HFI and we are together on this road”.
Our HFI Haiti Co-Director, Rene Lako said: “It was great to have the school staff and HFI team working together in realizing the food distributions. People showed real appreciation; we cannot do everything, but we can do something to bring relief and hope to those affected by the floods.”