August 14, 2021, 8:30 AM is a day and time that the people of southwest Haiti will not soon forget. Nor will the rest of the world, as we watched in horror and heartbreak as the first images of the earthquake's damage emerged.
While the 4 Religious of Jesus and Mary currently in-country are fine, all felt the earthquake's tremors and shaking, especially our 2 RJMs in Port-au-Prince which is only 90 miles from the southwestern area impacted.
Two weeks later both the news and the images remain shocking, grim, and deeply concerning. You have seen the on line and nightly news photos and videos of the devastation and the personal and economic loss in cities and villages near the epicenter. You have also heard the newscasts and read articles about the numbers of Haitian women, men, and children, dead or injured; the lack of medical personnel and care, beds and medicine; the loss of homes and businesses, animals and crops - and so much more.
Recently Sr. Farzana Philip, an RJM in Port-au-Prince traveled with 6 other sisters, and several Haitian men to southwestern Haiti, bringing "kits" of food and personal hygiene items to distribute to 100 families. They were able to visit 4 separate towns and villages. Farzana has captured their experience in word and image in a report "Visit to Toi Raque, Camp Perrin, & Cayes."
No doubt you have wondered how can a country, how can a people endure so much suffering and pain? Like all of us, you have turned to prayer for Haiti and for its women, men, and children, especially for those made poor. You may also have pondered questions such as: how can I help? what can I do? Some of you have already called asking how can I donate?
In turn, we have asked our sisters and volunteers who have served in Haiti for the names of organizations whom we know and/or with whom we have worked. With these suggestions, we hope you will be able to go online; read about each entity; note the work they do; learn what they are currently doing to assist with post-earthquake efforts - and come to a decision about making a donation to any of the organizations listed below that have been recommended to us.
Let's remember that Haiti and its people are not beginning a long and difficult journey. Rather they have been on one continuous long and difficult journey. And, let's remember that we have an opportunity to offer them assurance, courage, and fresh support today!
Thank you for your concern, your support, and, most of all, your prayers for the people of Haiti!
- Margaret Perron, RJM and the Religious of Jesus and Mary USA-Haiti Province
- Catholic Relief Services
- Farzana Philip, RJM firstname.lastname@example.org WhatsApp: 011+509 44234872
- Health Equity International (formerly St. Boniface Haiti Foundation)
- Partners in Health
- St. Luke Foundation for Haiti (Father Rick Frechette)
- Brenda Stafford Foundation
- Torch of Hope Haiti
- Catholic Diocese in Les Cayes
- Catholic Diocese in Jeremie