BENEFITING: Catholic Relief Services, Inc.
It was only 6 years ago that Haiti was struck by an earthquake that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands, not to mention all the damage to what little infrastructure the country had. Tragically, disaster has struck again. Hurricane Mathew is the deadliest storm to hit the Caribbean in a decade, and Haiti has felt its full force. While the death toll is tragic, estimated by some to be in the thousands, the true magnitude of the disaster will be felt in the damage to infrastructure.
In the area most affected, 80% of the homes have been damaged or destroyed. Upwards of 150,000 Haitians have relocated to shelters. Many of the few paved roads in Haiti have been damaged, most notably in the case of a collapsed bridge on Route National No. 2, which cut off much of the Southwestern peninsula, including Grand Anse and Nippes. Most of Haiti's schools are temporarily shut down. In one shocking case, the collapse of an orphanage killed all the children inside. To make matter worse, it seems as though the damage to infrastructure will lead to another Cholera outbreak.
As we saw in 2010 with the earthquake, there is a large chance that aid money will be grossly mishandled. The Red Cross, for example, has a history of doing very little with a lot of money. This is why all the money that we raise will go specifically to Foi et Joie (aka Fe y Alegria) through the Catholic Relief Services. Foi et Joie is a network of schools in Haiti that provides a strong education in places where there would otherwise be nothing of the sorts. For thousands of Haitian children, Foi et Joie provides a future. Foi et Joie schools are all around Haiti, and many are in the regions most affected by Hurricane Matthew.
Furthermore, Bellarmine has a strong relationship with the Foi et Joie organization. For the past two years, a group of Bells has traveled to Haiti to a small village called Carice, where we have partnered with a local Foie et Joie school to run a summer camp for local kids. In keeping with our relationship to Foi et Joie as well as our mission to be men and women for and with others, we, the Bellarmine community, are called upon to send our love and our aid to our Haitian brothers and sisters.