After Earthquake, ADRA and Church Help Haitians Near, Far, Wherever They Are (Almost)
- ADRA providing aid to Haitians in Colombia, Honduras and Mexico.
- In Haiti, among church membership the Aug. 14 earthquake killed 16, injured 117 and damaged property of more than 3,000.
- Church leaders coordinating reconstruction for 22 extensively damaged churches and 4 Adventist schools destroyed by the earthquake in Haiti.
05 October 2021 | After a 7.0-magnitude earthquake in 2010, Haitians migrated to several countries, chief among them Brazil, where an estimated 85,000 arrived between 2010 and 2017, according to an ADRA press release.
When another earthquake measured at 7.2 magnitude struck the Hispaniola Island on Aug. 14, 2021, Haiti again was impacted severely. At least 2,200 people died, more than 12,200 people were injured, and hundreds remain missing.
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) deployed teams and mobilized resources to help Haitian migrants in Colombia, Honduras and Mexico. In Colombia alone, more than 21,000 Haitian migrants are waiting to cross into Panama.
ADRA’s planned emergency response for Haitian migrants in those countries includes sanitation and hygiene services, and a cash and voucher assistance program, said Elian Giaccarini, regional emergency coordinator for ADRA in the Inter-American Division. The voucher program would be a temporary way for people to receive money to buy necessary items.
Meanwhile, Giaccarini said that ADRA aid in Haiti is ongoing. ADRA is focusing relief efforts to help 9,600 people in south-western Haiti within two months, providing food and hygiene assistance, including medical assistance in partnership with the Haiti Adventist Hospital. ADRA also plans to target schools in that area for a six-month period to help rebuild school buildings that collapsed in the quake.
Church Shows Haiti Love at Home
The Seventh-day Adventist Church also continues to assist thousands of members and their families while planning to rebuild two dozen churches and schools that were destroyed, according to an article from the Inter-American Division.
“We see how we are part of a great family. We are not alone, for we have brothers and sisters all around the world church praying and sending their financial support to help in the rebuilding,” said Pastor Pierre Caporal, president of the church in Haiti.
The Aug. 14, 2021 earthquake claimed the lives of 16 and injured 117 among the church membership in Haiti. Around 3,000 church members experienced property damage, including the destruction of their homes.
The church has assisted 1,000 of the most needy members through a plan especially for members affected by disasters. Members received food, clothes, money and basic supplies to help them survive their new reality, said Caporal. In addition, 50 pastoral families and church employees have received aid after the earthquake. The church also helped with burial costs.
The latest focus this month is on helping 500 church families prepare their children for school. School is scheduled to start on Oct. 6, 2021, but has been delayed indefinitely in the region, said Caporal. “This assistance is just an extra push to help with school uniforms and supplies and provide some normalcy for students.”
Four Adventist schools were destroyed by the earthquake and will have to be rebuilt from the ground up, he said. Church leaders are coordinating reconstruction efforts in the coming weeks. Twenty-two churches sustained extensive damage.
However, church members have not stopped from meeting, said Caporal. Just two weeks after the earthquake, the church in Jérémie, one of the areas most affected by the quake, held an evangelistic meeting at a public location that drew more than 100 people every night for two weeks. There is always hope to give in times of challenges, he added.
“We are always facing challenges, because that is part of life,” said Caporal. “But in the midst of those challenges we see the miraculous ways God intervenes to protect and help His people.”
(Photo: Haitian migrants are seen at a camp at Les Cayes in Haiti after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake rocked the island. Photo by Lisa Schnurr via ADRA)