The beginning of October is a joyous time for many. The leaves begin to change color, crisp air slowly sets in, and the holidays are just around the corner. However, the start of this October brought anything but joy for a large majority of Haiti.
On October 4th, a category four hurricane swept across Haiti. The southern coastal towns of Dame Marie, Jeremie, Port Salut and Les Cayes find themselves left in shambles and disarray. Hundreds have been left homeless and destitute without much hope for recovery.
Now, as cholera sets in due to the contamination of most drinkable water sources, even more lives are trapped in imminent danger.
Incredible, local and grassroots organizations have come together to provide hope, resources and relief to Haitians facing utter despair. They are already mobilizing and reacting to create a way out of this real life nightmare.
Jasper House Haiti is proud to know and trust a few of the organizations working to bring light and restoration for those experiencing real devastation. We are blessed that our town of Jacmel was not hit as treacherously as the southern coast, but we do recognize the severity of the situation. This is why we stand by the following organizations in their relief efforts:
Recently, we made a plea for donations to assemble relief kits for the women in our program who did experience some damage to their homes, as well as flooding and other difficulties.
Thanks to some incredible donors, thirty-two kits were made for our women filled with items such as rice, beans, oil, soap, shampoo, sanitary pads, combs and other toiletries.
While we fully acknowledge the great need for immediate, disaster relief, this is not the long term solution.
Long after news headlines stop reporting about the death toll, the damage and destruction left behind by Hurricane Matthew, Jasper House Haiti will still be here. We will still be fighting to restore, educate, and empower women out of prostitution, sexual abuse and exploitation, and extreme poverty.
Currently, there are over thirty women in enrolled in our education programs, including the six who are living in our residential facilities. For some of these women, it is their very first time to attend school, and begin to learn to read and write. In addition to receiving an education, they have also been given the opportunity to take one of our three vocational training courses of either sewing, culinary arts, or art/jewelry making.
They are receiving a fresh start, and a true chance at a better life.
The overwhelming needs of a life encompassed by extreme poverty do not go away with a bag of rice, a bottle of water or a pair of shoes.
They slowly begin to decrease when individuals begin to be empowered to have a real opportunities that provide them the chance to find employment, financial security and sustainable means to develop a more stable life.
Jasper House Haiti is forever committed to continue our mission to turn oppression, misfortune and tragedy into opportunities for empowerment and renewal for young women in Haiti.
But, we cannot do that without you.
While a one-time gift to hurricane relief efforts is needed, choosing to make a long-term partnership with a program such as ours that is devoted to seeing lives renewed and transformed, turns your generosity into a tool that has the ability to make an impact for generations to come.
Jasper House Haiti is in dire need of an increase in monthly support. These commitments of $25, $50, $100, $250, or even more, given us the ability to pay our incredible staff, take care of our operational expenses, provide hot, daily meals, medical care, therapy and so much more to the women in our programs.
We need you in our corner.
Will you consider becoming a monthly partner today to begin to change the life of a woman in need?
Written by: Maria Atkinson - Founder/CEO, Jasper House Haiti
Read more of her writings on her blog, Going Forth.