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Two major hurricanes devastated parts of Haiti in 2012 — Hurricane Isaac in August, followed in November by Hurricane Sandy.
Fr Jean François Printemps’ parish of Sibert was worst hit during the August storm. River banks gave way and flood waters surged through the poorest section of the parish forcing over a 1000 people, including Oblates, to take refuge in the two-storey Oblate school.
Thanks to Misean Cara’s Emergency Fund, the MDO was able to send €15,000 to purchase supplies of food, water, clothing, medicines etc to meet the basic needs of these people.
Fr Mazile (Oblate Provincial) assures us that the help arrived in time and the ‘refugees’ were able return to their own homes in a matter of weeks. The school was freed up again and pupils were able to return to their classes.
And then in November Hurricane Sandy hit Haiti’s south and southwest coastal regions, bringing over 20 inches of rain in four days, causing over 50 deaths, uprooting crops and destroying homes. A further 200,000 have been added to the list of 400,000 Haitians already homeless since the earthquake.
The Oblates in the southwest are working with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in 7 communities (all marked in red on map), but people’s needs are much greater than the available resources, so they are asking us to help them set up a 3-month emergency program that will see these communities return to being self-sufficient.