Just before 8:30 a.m. local time on Saturday, August 14 2021, a devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the southwest of Haiti in the mountains between the Nippes Department and Sud Department.
The earthquake has affected more than 800,000 people. Over 12,000 people were injured, hundreds remain missing, and to date, over 2,248 deaths have been recorded. More than 137,000 homes were destroyed or damaged in the earthquake, in addition to medical facilities, schools, government buildings, and businesses.
The South, where LFBS is located, has been one of the most deeply affected regions. Since August 14th, the LFBS team has sprung into action, providing emergency lifesaving assistance to our beneficiaries, partners, and their communities. Our own staff, many of whom lost their own homes in the earthquake and some of whom are still living in tents, have been working around the clock to mobilize and distribute emergency shelter, nutrition, hygiene kits, medical supplies and care to those in need. We have been supporting local child protection authorities in their response to protect children and prevent trafficking and separation, as well as focusing on psychosocial support for separated children.
As we near the end of October, we are starting to transition away from emergency aid and begin to focus on long-term recovery efforts. Our staff have been focusing on completing and analyzing evaluations of beneficiaries' needs following the earthquake. Our recovery efforts will encompass housing repairs, rebuilding, business reinforcement, and mental health support. We are preparing to provide 20 homes as soon as possible to the most vulnerable families identified in our evaluations, however there are many more families that need homes or critical repairs.
Though recent insecurity has delayed school and vocational programming, many of the youth we support have still been able to progress in their courses or even complete their certification!
We are sending a big congratulations to Gregory* who has recently obtained a special licence to operate heavy machinery and big trucks. This young man received support from LFBS throughout his childhood; he came from an impoverished community where many of the street children we have worked with are from, and had health issues that limited his options for vocational training. Now as a young man, we are so proud that we have been able to support him as he persevered in the practical work necessary to receive this licence, which will enable him to obtain employment and have income as a self-sufficient adult. Gregory also recently got married, and we couldn’t be happier for him!
Another one of our beneficiaries who made great progress this summer is a young woman named Fabienne* who we support to attend university. In addition to assisting her with school fees and living expenses, we supported her to attend a summer course in pastry arts in Les Cayes, in order to expand her options for income generation with something that she is passionate about. We are looking forward to seeing Fabienne’s hard work pay off!
A third beneficiary who we will be supporting in vocational training is a young student named Cassandra* that our Co-founder and Executive Director, Morgan, first met when she was living in an abusive and corrupt orphanage. Though she was reunited with her mother, the family’s conditions are vulnerable and they live in a rural area, so Cassandra is now living independently in Port-Au-Prince with her sister so that she can attend school. We will be supporting her to take a Cosmetology course in order to have a trade and ability to bring in income.
We are thankful for our partnership with Global Empowerment Mission, which has enabled us to provide a very high volume of emergency kits and supplies consisting of tarps, bedding, clothes, hygiene and PPE, nutritional supplements and non perishable food items, which we have distributed both through our own distributions and through our local partner organizations. We have also been able to create employment by hiring local labour to assist in preparing the kits and transporting supplies.
School openings have been delayed as a result of the earthquake and recent insecurity, but we are in the midst of of preparing our child and youth benediciaries for their upcoming school year. Our staff have been meeting with children and their families, preforming evaluations, and ensuring that each child is ready to excel in their upcoming studies.
Additionally, we are preparing for a distrubution from our partner organization Trees that Feed, which will be delievered to families in need who will then be trained on how to care for these plants by one of the agronomy students who we support in their studies and employ!
LFBS in the Media
Since June, our staff have participated in a number of important interviews with CBC News. Our Executive Director Morgan was also featured in El País, in addition to participating in a live Q&A as part of a panel for this year’s International Social Change Film Festival. This ongoing outreach has been vital in raising awareness about providing effective support following the earthquake and the crucial work LFBS continues to do in Haiti. Check out the links below to catch-up on these important conversations!
Thank you for being a part of our incredible community of supporters and donors. While the situation in Haiti remains complex, because of you, we are making real, impactful, and lasting changes in the lives of children, families, and communities. You are a partner in this work and we couldn’t do it without you. Thank you for your interest, support, and caring, and for being a catalyst for change.
Thank you for your shared commitment to our vision that every child in Haiti grows up in a safe, loving, and self-sustaining family.
*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of our beneficiaries
Upcoming ways to support LFBS
GlobalGiving’s 2021 #GivingTuesday campaign is coming up on November 30th, 2021. The campaign will last 24 hours, from 00:00:00 EST to 23:59:59 EST on November 30, 2021. By donating to LFBS through GlobalGiving during this time period, you will allow us to be eligable to receive a portion of GlobalGiving's $1,000,000 USD Incentive Fund.
*Donations up to $2,500 per unique donor per organization will be eligible to receive Incentive Funds