During the night and into the early morning of October 3rd, Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti. It was the first Category 4 hurricane to hit the country in more than five decades. Grand’Anse, the South, the Nippes and the South-East, took a direct hit. Most homes could not stand up against the 130 to 156 mph winds which were accompanied by heavy rains. As of October 6th those four departments are essentially cut off from the rest of the country, with roads, bridges, phone lines and internet connections rendered inaccessible. Across the country, nearly 1,000 people have died and tens of thousands displaced—and those numbers, unfortunately, will rise.
We are starting to see images of the devastation, and the minimum telephone contacts we have established can only give us an incomplete picture of the dire situation. Our school, Ecole Gabriel Academie Salagnac (EGAS), situated in Mont Salagnac in the Nippes, was completely destroyed, and all seven of our classrooms are gone. Children and families in Mont Salagnac, like many other communities devastated by the hurricane, are in need of support to start the arduous task of rebuilding.
It will take some time before we know the full extent of the destruction in Mont Salagnac, but we do know we have to be ready as soon as the roads are opened to give our support. It is our responsibility to support the families and children of Mont Salagnac as they rebuild their homes and their lives.
UPDATE: Please consider supporting our 'Meal A Day' program to help our students and families in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.