Six months after a deadly earthquake hit Haiti, our team continues to help communities recover and rebuild.
It has been six months since a devastating earthquake struck southern Haiti. Thousands of people lost their lives and many more lost their homes. Our team in Haiti shares with us updates on the situation and how we can continue to pray for the people of Haiti.
‘After the earthquake hit, Tearfund was able to respond quickly; mobilizing local churches and our network of Tearfund-trained first-responders,’ shares Marc Antoine, who leads Tearfund’s work in Haiti.
‘One of the ways in which we were able to support people was to give out cash transfers to those who were most affected. This is one of the best ways to help people recover, as not everyone has the same needs after a disaster, and so people are able to put the money towards what will help them specifically.’
Christon Domand, from our Haiti Team, continues, ‘Most of the people affected by the earthquake were living in make-shift tents, built with pieces of cloth and cardboard. So, there was a great need for us to focus on this.
‘Tearfund helped 100 families to rebuild their homes. This week, we went to the area to see how local communities were getting on, as well as continue to see how Tearfund could continue to help.’
Homes are being rebuilt
‘When the earthquake happened I was doing dishes outside of the house, but my baby was inside,’ Rosamene shares with us.
‘I was scared and rushed in the house to go and get her.
‘During the first tremor, I called to my other children to come to me as I saw the walls starting to fall, and as I heard people screaming in the yard.
‘I lost my bed, my table and my cupboard were destroyed. The walls had fallen and the ground was cracked.
‘With the cash that I received from Tearfund I bought concrete blocks, sand, cement and paint.
‘Everyone is back in the house; there are 13 people living here. I am fully satisfied and happy for this help from Tearfund.
‘I thank everyone who contributed. A big thank you to Tearfund, without this help I would still be sleeping in a tent. It has been raining a lot lately and many families are still without proper roofs, but thank God we have somewhere dry to stay.’
Rosamene outside her home, which she has been able to rebuild, thanks to the support of Tearfund | Credit: Ralph Henri/Tearfund
New businesses are being set up
‘When the earthquake happened I was outside the kitchen; my child was inside,’ shares Estha.
‘When I felt the first vibration, I ran inside and I promised to save my baby… While I was trying to escape with him, once we got outside, the wall fell and hit me from behind.
‘I felt on my knees, but the baby was safe.
Estha received a cash grant, enabling her to rebuild and invest in her future.
‘The contribution of Tearfund changed my life,’ says Estha. ‘It allowed me to repair my home. I want to say thank you to Tearfund for this help… I know what it is like to sleep in a tent with a one-year-old baby. Thanks to God I have this money to start up a small business. Now, I am now selling phone charging units to take care of my children.’
Estha shows us the tent she lived in with her one-year old baby for several months after the earthquake. Estha and her baby have moved back into their home after using a cash grant from Tearfund to repair the house and make it safe again to live in | Credit: Ralph Henri/Tearfund
‘The same area has been hit with several smaller earthquakes in the past few months, which is leading to further trauma among these communities,’ explains Marc.
‘Just a few weeks ago, an earthquake here damaged another 35 homes and several roads in the area. It also led to several people sadly losing their lives.
‘These earthquakes are indicators that a more serious earthquake could be looming.
‘Tearfund continues to work with local churches and communities to make sure we’re prepared if this does happen, as well as looking at how we can serve people in the long-term in regards to helping people with their mental wellbeing.’
Bethanie Saint Louis, from our Haiti Team, meets with Estha to see how things are going since the cash grant. Tearfund will continue to work with local churches and communities to help people recover and rebuild | Credit: Ralph Henri/Tearfund
Making it possible to respond
‘We thank those who have been praying for us,’ says Christon. ‘As well as people who generously gave to make it possible to respond to help so many people rebuild from the earthquakes.’
‘We want to thank you for making it possible for us to touch and change the lives of the 100 families, who have rebuilt their homes and who are no longer living in tents,’ adds Bethanie Saint Louis, from our Haiti Team.
‘We thank you for your continued support and generosity. We are hoping as we walk together that we can see more changes and more impact in the lives of the most vulnerable people in Haiti. Please keep us in your prayers.’
Pray with us
- Thank God for people – like Rosamene and Estha – who have been able to begin rebuilding their lives. Ask God to bless their new homes and businesses. And pray for the provision of homes for those who are still living in tents or temporary shelters.
- Pray for people’s mental health; ask God to comfort those who are anxious over further tremors. Pray for wisdom and opportunities for Tearfund and the local church to be able to help people continue to recover.
- Pray for protection for the people of Haiti from further earthquakes.
Story originally published on February 22, 2022 by Tearfund UK by Rachel Adams. Main Image: Ralph Henri/Tearfund