Hurricane Matthew has ravaged Haiti’s southwestern peninsula. As our team flew from Port-au-Prince to Jeremie, we watched the entire topography change. The land went from lush and green to black and broken. The trees were stripped in the storm and most ripped in half by the violent wind.
The view from the air was sobering, but walking through the villages on foot told the real story. I met Madame John Jeorges in Gomier. “The sea took my house,” she said as she pointed to an empty lot with no trace of a home. She lost everything except the clothes on her back.
After the storm, Madame John moved in with her son, Roni. His house also sustained serious damage in the hurricane, but the family is thankful the four walls are still standing. Now this 10-by-15-foot house is home to 11 people.
The Jeorges received critical aid when Samaritan’s Purse did a distribution in Gomier. The family now has water filtration units, food staples, hygiene kits, blankets, and tarp for emergency shelter. That tarp is now the family’s roof.
“Thank you,” Madame John said. “What Samaritan’s Purse has given us is what we have.”
This story is not unique. Thousands of families lost everything in the storm, and they are desperate for help. Samaritan’s Purse is working to meet the immediate needs of 4,000 families in Haiti. In addition to distributing relief supplies, we are also establishing a Cholera Treatment Center in Chardonnaires where we will be equipped to treat up to 50 patients at a time.