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Irma & Maria Spare Espwa, Les Cayes Area

UPDATE: Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico on September 19th, but again skirted past Haiti. Continue to pray for those in Puerto Rico who have lost their lives, their homes, animals and everything they own.

 

On September 7th Irma passed Haiti.  It mercifully spared our location in southern Haiti from another devastating outcome.  The storm pummeled northern Hispaniola Thursday evening through Friday morning, but left no appreciable damage, according to reports.  Heavy rains add the danger of mudslides and flooding.  

Parts of Port-au-Prince, such as Cite Soleil, are already flooded.  One of our Transition Kids lives there.

Despite the near-miss, your Espwa team was well-prepared.  They secured facilities, prepositioned food and building supplies, and evacuated our children to more secure locations. 

 

Because the Haitian government does not have a widespread organized way of notifying people of danger, our Espwa Youth Outreach team of 17 Transition program (PROJA) volunteers started handing out flyers that described ways to prepare for/survive a hurricane and what to do in its aftermath. We provided an extra food distribution to the local community and to minimum wage employees.

Finally,our staff participated in UN-facilitated cluster meetings with local NGOs to ensure awareness of each others’ capabilities. The Red Cross and other local humanitarian aid services attended these meetings to learn more about the approaching storm and discuss ways to prevent cholera outbreaks in the community.

 

Your continued support will ensure we are able to help Haiti’s most vulnerable.

Please consider an extra donation to Free the Kids to continue this great work!

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I fell in love with Espwa during my first visit last year. Hard to put into words, but there was a real "heart" connection with the kids and staff. It is a special place. My visit was focused primarily on the girls and the teachers. Relationships were initiated during that first visit that I treasure very much!

- Maria Simeone

There is hardly a more heartbreaking sight than seeing an orphan in Haiti--many of them who have families who simply cannot feed and clothe them. Of course there is the emotional response to their plight, but there is a more pragmatic hope--that given a chance in a loving, caring environment, these children can grow up to be leaders, people who can move their communities and the country itself in a positive, healthy direction.

- Jackie Wilson

This place is amazing! The kids and their caregivers will restore your faith in the human spirit. The magic of Espwa is that there is a childhood provided for the kids there that would not exist otherwise.Haiti has a very very long way to go, but this is a hopeful place with clean, well fed, happy children, teachers, house moms, and support staff. Fr Marc and all of the others should be very proud of their accomplishments. Help them in any way that you can!

- Kerri McDonough Croland
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