As tropical storm strength winds and rain plummeted some parts of Haiti over the weekend, we witnessed yet another blow to this country in the form of devastating flooding as streets turned into raging rivers of brown water, numerous landslides swept away anything in their path and insurmountable amounts of rainfall caused significant damage to crops, all during a time when starvation is deepening in this country. At the time of writing at least 42 people had died, 11 others were missing and over 13,400 people had been forced to evacuate their homes. Thousands of homes have been submerged under flood waters, leaving hundreds upon hundreds of families homeless. ** WARNING - Please be advised, some images may be disturbing to some viewers.
The flooding comes at a time when Haiti is already experiencing serious peril due to gangs controlling the country, yet the strength and determination of the Haitian people to persevere and overcome is second to none. If you have spent time in Haiti immersed in the culture and amongst the people of Haiti yourself, you will know exactly what I mean. Luckily, all of our Restore Haiti family are safe after the flooding although electricity is limited, our solar panels are not as effective due to lack of sunlight under storm conditions and internet is sporadic at best, all of which are imperative to keep our programs running smoothly as communication with our Haitian staff and students is instrumental in playing a significant role in Restore Haiti operations now that travel and mission trips to Haiti have come to a halt for the foreseeable future.
With malnutrition at an all time high compounded by the latest floods, which have been destroying farmers crops, the gardens of many Haitian families and the ability to access clean and safe drinking water and food, we consider ourselves fortunate that we are able to continue to provide over 5,000 hot meals weekly in our Feeding Programs. Despite all the cards that continue to be stacked again Haiti, there is one constant that continues to shine through, epitomized in the photo above, a message of hope and of strength coming from a nation that has every reason to give up.