After hurricane Matthew ravaged the eastern peninsula of Haiti where about 1.4 million people live–most of them farmers–the SSIO initiated relief activities.
The efforts began with a helicopter reconnaissance mission to the town of Jeramie–one of the farthest and most impacted and inaccessible towns from Port au Prince (12 hours by road). Based on the findings, it was decided that the best use of resources would be to distribute uncooked food supplies and filters for water purification, and to provide seeds to the farmers, to help the residents of this region start rebuilding their lives.
To this end, the SSIO volunteers from Trinidad & Tobago prepared and shipped, 3,000 boxes of food and supplies, containing rice, beans, mixed vegetables, spaghetti, tooth paste and tooth brushes. The operations were largely coordinated out of the former “Sai Home”, the base of the SSIO’s prior missions in Haiti. It’s worth noting that, upon embracing the noble ideals and activities of the SSIO, the Haitian government waived any custom dues.
Distribution was a challenge initially though, given the extreme need and hunger and the little order in the area. Finally, on March 30, 2017, two trucks with many boxes of food reached the little town of Duchity in the hills above Jeremie, while the police helped the food distribution in an orderly fashion.
Food was also given to students in two of the schools adopted by the SSIO since 2011: About 50 children in the ABC for Life School, and 200 children in the Ecole Mixte de la Nouvelle Jerusalem School. These children are also receiving classes of Sathya Sai Education in Human Values.
In the month of April, the remaining food boxes will be distributed in refugee camps, and more seeds and water filters will be distributed around in Port au Prince. We shall continue to update our readers accordingly.