Xavier Network continues Haiti rehabilitation after Hurricane Matthew
One year on from the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, the Xavier Network continues to support long-term rehabilitation, with special focus on education.
Over 2 million people were affected when Hurricane Matthew devastated the south-west coast of Haiti in October 2016. The Xavier Network immediately activated its emergency protocol, appointing Entreculturas (Spain) as the lead agency for the humanitarian response.
The Spanish development organisation managed the crisis on the ground, as part of Fe y Alegría, the biggest Jesuit education network in the world and one of Xavier Network’s main strategic partners. Other network members have been fundraising and providing technical help and advice.
“We currently find ourselves at a second stage,” explains Pablo Funes of Entreculturas. “In the medium and long term, this includes the reconstruction of schools, the recovery of people’s livelihoods and training in the prevention of natural hazards.”
For example, the school of Saint Michel Archange Foi et Joie in one of the most affected areas has been rebuilt, adding three new classrooms with cement ceilings, a school kitchen and a sanitary block. This benefits not only the students but also the wider community who access services through the school in a programme of psycho-social accompaniment. Care is given to traumatised families who continue to suffer after the immediate crisis that displaced 175,000 people.
Agriculture and livestock were critically affected by Hurricane Matthew. With the help of an expert agronomist, together with the local population in the Desormeaux area, an agricultural recovery plan has been drawn up which will benefit some 300 families initially. In addition, courses on sowing, plot preparation and crop care are being offered so as to promote better harvests.
And finally, in a disaster preparedness initiative, Entreculturas is training teachers in the type of preventive measures that should be taken in the event of a new natural disaster threat.
Alongside its emergency response, Entreculturas has been able to feed back testimonies and reports from the field – material that allowed eleven network members to highlight the situation in a coordinated way and raise over €500.000 for the people of Haiti from their respective donor communities.