Speaking by phone with Wilfrid Joachin (the local focolare leader) on Monday, January 18, he gave us an update on how the situation is in his part of the country.
First of all, he says, almost every family has lost one or more of their members in the earthquake. Many people from the villages in the countryside had left for the capital, either for studies or to find work. One family in Carice has lost 7 of their 8 children.
The good news is that two of our members studying in Port-au-Prince survived the devastating quake.
As a consequence of the destruction of Port-au-Prince, everybody now tries to get out of the city, going to the countryside. He tells us that many people from the capital arrived in Ounaminthe, a city in the North-East at the border with the Dominican Republic. They arrive and don’t know where to go; not having eaten for several days, they beg for food and lodging. Also in Mont-Organisé, Savanette, Carice, these people arrive, having lost all they had in Port-au-Prince. Wilfrid tells us that the whole country is devastated, crushed to the ground by this great disaster.
He continues that they came up with the idea of building a center for poor families. Some years back the Focolare movement in Haiti was given a piece of land. Wilfrid, after discussing with other members what they could do to help their fellow Haitians, they decided to go ahead with a building plan which will provide housing for twenty families. Their help would also include clothing, food, and medical help, taken from their own meager resources.
But the Focolare group in Haiti will have to rely on help from the outside to be able to do something at this moment and to bring this building proposal to completion.
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