Apply to Join
Jul 6, 2020

Rebuilding Paradise

Mcleans Town destroyed after Hurricane Dorian
Mcleans Town destroyed after Hurricane Dorian

William always believed his home of McLeans Town was paradise. “We lived here and we couldn’t believe how beautiful it was,” William says, reflecting on the small community on the northwest corner of Grand Bahama island. The image that William describes, one of soft sand being gently tugged by ocean waves on a backdrop of a cloudless sky, seems negligible in the face of Hurricane Dorian’s complete devastation. The Category 5 storm hit the Bahamas with winds of 185 mph, gusts up to 220 mph, and storm surges reaching 23 feet. Like most residents, William fled town before the September 1st storm, but he came back to survey the damage done to his home and his community. The town William returned to was not the one he remembered; instead McLeans Town bares the wrath of Dorian. The towering trees are scoured on the floor or on top of crumbling homes. There is a thick layer of oil from destroyed storage tanks covering miles of plants and animals. And then there is William and his fellow Bahamians, all trying to sort through the rubble for memories, resources, and most of all looking for those who may still be trapped underneath all of the wreckage.

Mcleans Town is not alone in their devastation. According to the Government of the Bahamas, the hurricane affected more than 76,000 people especially in Abaco and Grand Bahama. International Medical Corps moved quickly in light of the emergency, and with the help of GlobalGiving, has been able to provide access to healthcare, safe water, improved hygiene, and mental health support to the most devastated areas.

Within 72 hours, International Medical Corps had set up an emergency medical facility in High Rock, an eastern part of Grand Bahama island. The previous clinic, which was destroyed in the storm, served more than 3,000 people. Along with deploying 100 doctors, staff and nurses to provide patient consolations, International Medical Corps has also delivered 15,200lbs of medication and equipment which have been used to restock pharmacies and fill critical gaps in medication. International Medical Corps recognizes not only the physical toll of the hurricane, but also the mental distress. In order to meet the needs of residents experiencing a wide range of psychosocial needs International Medical Corps has provided some 1,000 people with mental health and psychosocial support services and raised awareness for about 11,280 people on self-care.

Hurricane Dorian’s devastation has shaken every aspect of Bahamian life. Despite coping with their new, warped reality, William and his community are hopeful they will see paradise again. “Come back and you’ll see…” he says, surveying the damage with a cracked smile. “We’ll rebuild.”

International Medical Corps thanks GlobalGiving and other donors for their critical support as we continue to respond to the Hurricane Dorian crisis. Today, we not only address the recovery needs following the storm, but also the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Bahamas.

Our team tending to William's injury
Our team tending to William's injury
Jun 8, 2020

Suicide Prevention with COVID-19

Coralys, pre-COVID, with one of our participants.
Coralys, pre-COVID, with one of our participants.

During this difficult time worldwide,” says Coralys, our Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Coordinator in Puerto Rico, “our team has developed new and innovative strategies to address the most pressing needs related to mental health and, more specifically, suicide prevention.

One of those innovative strategies is a new series of webinars which adapt training to the physical distancing requirements of the COVID-19 pandemic. With generous support from GlobalGiving, these webinars provide culturally responsive information about suicide prevention, including risk factors, stress management and crisis intervention strategies. The webinars also aim to reduce the stigma associated with mental health challenges and to combat myths and misinformation.

International Medical Corps’ webinar series has already reached 142 community members, 26 mental health patients and 165 health workers. Following one of the webinars, one of our participants stated, “it is so relieving to know that I can now do something when a friend or family member is contemplating suicide.

While the intention behind the series is to ensure continuity of services, Coralys considers the greatest challenge to be, reaching the two most vulnerable populations during quarantine, older adults and walk-in emergency patients who were affected by the initial lockdown of health facilities.” Our team partnered with local churches and other religious organizations to reach older adults, and the webinars helped staff at the walk-in clinics provide patients with the skills they need to address their emotions and prevent crises such as suicide.

Coralys explains that, “By working collaboratively, we have identified needs, provided guidance, and referrals to participants to current available mental health services” – and helped to save precious lives.

We thank the GlobalGiving community for continuing to support mental health and psychosocial support in Puerto Rico.

Pre-COVID at Hospital San Juan Capestrano Humacao.
Pre-COVID at Hospital San Juan Capestrano Humacao.
Coralys and our MHPSS team host an online webinar.
Coralys and our MHPSS team host an online webinar.
May 29, 2020

Final Report on Typhoon Hagibis

Supporting people in need after Typhoon Hagibis.
Supporting people in need after Typhoon Hagibis.

Final Report on Typhoon Hagibis

As International Medical Corps’ emergency response to Typhoon Hagibis, which struck Japan in October of 2019, has ended, this update will be our final one.

To continue supporting International Medical Corps and our GlobalGiving projects, please visit our “Emergency Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)” project, where International Medical Corps is providing a global response to the pandemic.

Learn more about our Coronavirus response here: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/emergency-response-to-the-coronavirus-2019-ncov/

The Importance of Support

In October 2019, Typhoon Hagibis made landfall on the Pacific coast of Japan, affecting nearly 25 million people and resulting in more than 67,000 acres of flooded areas. Hagibis was one of the worst storms Japan had seen in decades, affecting Shizuoka prefecture on up to Iwate prefecture. Nagano, Kanagawa, the Tokyo metropolitan area, Saitama, Chiba, Tochigi, Ibaragi, Fukushima and Miyagi were among the hardest hit.

To bring relief and recovery to the most vulnerable, International Medical Corps partnered with the Association for Aid and Relief Japan (AAR Japan) to work in Fukushima. We served people with disabilities through existing welfare centers, providing transportation, filling gaps in supplies, and helping individuals stay healthy in their homes. Our collaboration with three welfare centers in typhoon-impacted areas, supported some of the most vulnerable as they fulfilled day-to-day activities.

Izumi, a 49-year-old man who visits one of the welfare centers, recalls the damage Hagibis brought to his home, destroying nearly all of his belongings, including his clothing. He used his savings to repair his home, while our teams met his need for clothing. Izumi continues to visit one of the welfare centers in Fukushima, with staff reporting he is always coming up with ways to keep his life cheerful.

Izumi is one the many vulnerable people made even more so by the devastation left by Typhoon Hagibis, yet able to recover thanks to International Medical Corps and AAR Japan.

We thank the GlobalGiving community of donors for bringing awareness and support to International Medical Corps’ relief and recovery efforts around the world.

 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.