Haiti, the poorest country on the American continent, is slipping from one crisis to the next. About a month ago, Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated, and on August 14, 2021, a major earthquake in southern Haiti shook the country. The magnitude 7.2 quake occurred in southern Haiti near the commune of Saint-Louis-du-Sud at a depth of about ten kilometers and was felt throughout the country. The ensuing tropical storm "Grace" further complicated search and rescue efforts. So far, more than 2,000 people have died. Schools, houses and hospitals were completely destroyed. Thousands of families lost their homes and people are finding shelter in tents and under tarpaulins. Basic services such as water, electricity, food and medical aid are completely lacking. Although several international aid organizations are already on the ground, their help is hampered by criminal gangs that control the roads.
Also relatives of the beneficiaries of the Horyzon partner organization YWCA Haiti are affected. Fortunately, the YWCA Haiti center was not damaged and activities could be resumed on
August 17. However, the disaster brought back bad memories of past earthquakes for both staff and beneficiaries. In particular, the earthquake of 2010 (magnitude 7.0) is still in the bones of the Haitians. At that time, 220,000 people lost their lives and more than one million became homeless. Reconstruction is still slow due to corruption and mismanagement.
YWCA Haiti is running a campaign to collect food, clothing and medicine to help the affected families in the south. On site, the mentors of the Horyzon program "Espace Sûr" support other sister organizations. The girls at the YWCA center write expressions of solidarity to their peers to give them hope and light during this dark and difficult time.