What exactly happened? Who is affected?
On Saturday August 14th at 8:29am ET, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti. Though this earthquake is reported to be stronger than the one that devastated the country in 2010, it struck in a much less densely populated area. The earthquake epicentre was 5 miles from the town of Petit Trou de Nippes in the southern peninsula (western part) of the country, about 80 miles west of the capital of Port-au-Prince. Since that first earthquake, there have been a series of significant aftershocks and intense rain that has caused flooding and further damage.
For up to date information about the impact and damage, visit this website by Mardochee Reveil https://www.haitiearthquake.org/
How has the earthquake impacted the Haiti: Hands On communities?
Our primary partner community is Terre Froide, east of the capital in the Ouest department of Haiti, which is where we have our community school. Thankfully, those in Terre Froide are safe given the distance from the epicentre of the earthquakes.
Additionally, we have been partnered with the community of Jean Jean outside of Léogâne since 2016. Though this community is located much closer to the epicentre of the earthquakes, there have been no casualties or significant infrastructural damage. They have instead been most affected by flooding and resulting landslides. We are still in the process of assessing the extent of the damage and supporting where we can.
In the meantime, we are directing support to the south, where the extent of the damage is greatest.
What are you doing to support those affected?
The most crucial yet challenging thing to do in times like these is collaborating. We have come together with Kay Tita to support other organisations providing relief. Pierre Stanley Jn Baptiste, Cofounder of Kay Tita, created HaitiNeeds to facilitate coordinated support efforts in the aftermath of Haiti’s August 14th earthquakes. Through this platform, we are providing real-time data on the needs of those helping victims on the ground, and helping volunteers and donors direct their support effectively. This platform also has information on key resources that those on the ground can use to facilitate their work.
I’m not in Haiti, but I want to help. What can I do to support the communities impacted by the earthquakes?
We know how difficult it can be to discern where to direct your support and what specifically is needed. The best way to support is to help those that are already working on the ground with their material needs. You can use HaitiNeeds to find organisations you want to support and either make a monetary contribution on their sites (where applicable) or reach out to them to coordinate the local donation of other goods. Though we do recommend monetary donations in order to source the needed materials locally, if you have materials that you are looking to donate from overseas, we also have information on shipping companies that are currently providing free shipping to Haiti and other resources that may be of use.
If you just want to donate money and let us direct that support where it is most needed, jump down to the next question.
I just want to make a donation, where should I do that?
If you want to make a monetary donation to us as organisations that you already know and trust, you can donate here and we’ll take care of the rest: https://donorbox.org/supporting-families-impacted-by-2021-haiti-earthquake
These funds will be used to support relief efforts. We will be working with organisations already providing support in the communities most impacted in the south of Haiti and use your donations to help supply them with the materials they have requested to further their efforts. In collaborating with existing initiatives that best know how to handle this situation, we strive to be as effective as possible with our support.
If you want a list of vetted organisations to look through yourself, check out this crowdsourced list.
I’m in Haiti looking for ways to help, what can I do?
You can use HaitiNeeds to coordinate the local donation of goods or collaborate on relief efforts. If you are able to provide your skills and manpower during these times, you can also register as a volunteer or contact organisations directly to help them.
I am an organisation on the ground that needs support, how can you help?
You can publish your organisation and needs directly on HaitiNeeds in order to get directed support. If you are looking for manpower and volunteers, you can search the volunteer database based on needed skills/competencies and contact them directly through the platform.
I’m still not sure how to help… what do I do?
We’re here to help you best direct your support. We are setting up a call centre and helping on a case-by-case basis via email. Contact us through this form https://www.haitineeds.com/contact and we’ll get back to you shortly.