Today’s guest post is from Thomas Mangham, Director, FH Hispaniola, who visited the community of Derriere Savane, Haiti, to assess damage and distribute much-needed supplies after the devastation of October’s category 4 Hurricane Matthew.
Today I had the opportunity to go with our dedicated Food for the Hungry (FH) staff to the community of Derriere Savane, Haiti. The community’s name roughly translates to “behind the boonies.” The name refers to the community’s location in the rugged mountains south of Port au Prince.
FH has been working in this community for nearly three years. We implement our holistic development program known as child-focused community transformation (or CFCT). Although I had been to this community many times before, this was the first time I have visited since the impact of Hurricane Matthew.
The storm destroyed much of the agriculture in the area. It damaged many of the homes, schools and churches. The grandmother of two children in the child sponsorship program died as a result of a house collapse.
Our team is currently working diligently to bring important aid to affected members of this village and many others in the region. Today we distributed blankets and water purification solution known as Aqua Jiff. Water purification is important for reducing the threat of water-borne diseases such as cholera.
Happy to Be Alive
In addition to training community members on safe water practices, our staff gave words of encouragement drawn from Scripture. Our regional coordinator, Delide Jean Baptiste, even led a cheer of “la vi pat fini,” which in Haitian Creole translates as “our life is not over.” It was great to see the spirit and enthusiasm these folks have to rebuild their lives and their community.
Over the past few years, a major focus of FH’s work in this region has been to improve access to water. We do this by capturing spring sources and installing rainwater harvesting infrastructure. These water systems are perhaps a silver lining to the storm and subsequent rains. The tanks, including one at the church where the distributions were held are now full of water. This water can be safe to drink.
How You Can Help
Our FH Haiti team will be active over the coming days and weeks. We will contine distributions and working with the communities to rebuild damaged homes and schools. Please keep them in prayer. They travel the long and dangerous roads in this stunningly beautiful but desperately poor region of Haiti. You can also donate to help in our Haiti efforts.