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“We survive”: Haiti after the hurricane

The long journey to recovery.

Smiling women in Haiti

“To survive in Haiti, you must be resilient. We have no choice,” explains Ephraim Lindor, Compassion Haiti's Tours & Visits Specialist.

Growing up, I was taught whenever life knocked me down, to pick myself up, dust myself off and keep going. But it can be hard to get up when you’re constantly being taken down.

The effects of the 2010 Haiti earthquake were still present in Haiti when Hurricane Matthew hit the Caribbean country in October last year, destroying homes and devastating landscapes. But the resilience of the Haitian people in the face of trials and tribulations is astounding. “Noula!” is a common phrase exchanged between Haitians after disasters. It means, “We are here. We survive.”

Delivering water in Haiti

And thanks to the support of generous donors, Haitian communities are not only surviving but starting to recover from the hurricane.

In the immediate aftermath, Compassion staff distributed food packages which consisted of five gallon buckets containing packets of rice, beans, milk, water, toothbrushes, toothpaste and toilet paper.

Emergency supplies in Haiti

Since November, we’ve worked with our local church partners to give out more than 400,000 water purification tablets, repair 22 schools and fix 99 affected projects. Another 23 schools are currently being rebuilt. Donations have also been used to reconstruct homes: 1181 houses have already been repaired, 1240 houses are currently being rebuilt and several thousand more are due to start reconstruction shortly.

Shelter has been one of the greatest needs with many people like Anne Marie losing their homes. She was sleeping when Hurricane Matthew struck. “The wind started blowing and the roof started tearing away and I stood up," Anna Marie says. "Since I saw the wind was so violent, I forget about any item I had here in the house. I took my granddaughter and ran to my next door neighbour.”

“We’ve lost all our clothing. The damage that I have suffered is great. Starting with the house and also I've lost 3 big gardens. I had my gardening here because this is my survival. Because when you are hungry in your stomach it's a big deal. That day because we stood up and we fell. We stood up and we fell, but we manage our way and we survive anyway.”

Throughout Haiti, Compassion staff and church partners have been working diligently to help their communities recover from the worst hurricane in over 50 years.

Compassion Haiti Director

Guilbaud, Compassion’s Haiti Country Director, says, “It is a special blessing that God has provided to Haiti, to Haitian people. We are very resilient. And in the maze of trials and difficulties, we keep having hope.”

Thank you to everyone who donated and prayed for the disaster relief effort in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. Please join us in praying for this beautiful nation, a nation which keeps fighting the good fight of faith. Pray for their journey down the long road of recovery. Pray for infrastructure to be built quickly, for the leadership of the country who are facing political upheaval and for hope to continue burning brightly in the people of Haiti. 

Keep praying for Haiti

WORDS : Roz Walsh

PHOTOS : Ryan Johnson



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