On September 7th and 19th, 2017 two earthquakes changed the lives of millions of Mexicans. The areas affected include Oaxaca, Chiapas, Puebla, Morelos, and the state of Mexico. Unfortunately, over 400 people lost their lives and thousands of people were displaced when their homes and businesses were destroyed. On the 2nd anniversary of the September 19th earthquake, the International Community Foundation (ICF) remembers the victims and their families.
On this day, we would like to share ICF’s work to respond, and help communities recover, rehabilitate, and become more resilient for future events.
In the first three months, ICF received $774,000 USD from donors all over the world for earthquake disaster relief. With the ICF team’s networks and expertise, we were able to use these funds for emergency needs such as water, medicine, and treatment for trauma .
Within two weeks of the earthquakes, ICF granted over $54,000 USD in emergency relief to grassroots organizations. For example, Fundación Cántaro Azul provided emergency equipment in rural communities of Morelos where water systems were severely damaged. Today, these water quality interventions continue to benefit over 1,800 people.
With a $30,000 grant from ICF, Voces y Visiones de Malinalco built 15 temporary classrooms in Santa Monica de Ocuilán in the state of Mexico, so that over 400 students could continue their education while their permanent schools were being rebuilt. This helps students continue with their normal routine and helped avoid learning gaps.
ICF also partnered with Documental Ambulante/Levantemos México to invest in comprehensive capacity-building projects involving leaders, community foundations, and nonprofits in earthquake-affected areas. These project initiatives are 2-3 year-long strategies meant to improve government efficiency and response during disasters, train communities in disaster preparedness, and promote community leadership that will respond when the next disaster strikes.
The first year of ICF’s grantmaking was difficult as we heard stories of nonprofits struggling to regain their programmatic and institutional momentum. We continued to support existing and new grantees through this time, while also investing in regional initiatives that focused on long-term community resilience.
Recently, ICF announced our commitment to support projects after two years of the earthquake. This outreach generated ten new project proposals in just one week after the announcement. Clearly, the need is still present to help communities and local nonprofits in the affected regions. We will post the results in two weeks, so sign up for our mailing list or join our followers on social media to learn which groups were selected.
ICF honors and admires the efforts of people who came together in the face of tragedy and loss. We want to thank the hundreds of donors that allowed us to respond quickly to this emergency, as well as to continue our financial support over the past two years. We have strengthened our local and regional partnerships as a result, and our team has learned so much from this experience.
Although the earthquakes happened two years ago, one of the most critical issues facing a rebuilding country is to minimize the long-term damage and ensure communities are prepared for future events.
The Mexican communities affected by the 2017 earthquakes still need our support to ensure sustainable recovery of communities. There is still a lot of work left to do, so please stand in solidarity with the people affected by donating to the ICF Disaster Relief Fund on GlobalGiving.