As we make our way back to CofC for classes to start back up again on Wednesday, October 12, we should be grateful for our health and safety after Hurricane Matthew. Others weren’t as lucky. According to the Center for International Disaster Information, 336 Haitians died, 61,500 people were evacuated and 750,000 Hatians are in need of aid due to the devastion from the hurricane. These numbers are only growing as the weather from the hurricane subsides. To make matters worse, a cholera outbreak is sweeping Hatian communities and has already taken 13 lives. Cholera, which is caused by drinking contaminated water, is a deadly bacterial disease which affects the small intestine and can kill someone within hours if left untreated. With major flooding from Hurricane Matthew going on in Haiti, a cholera outbreak will most likely claim several thousands lives if adequate sanitation and medicine as well as clean drinking water is not available.
So, how can we help Haiti? Most people will want to donate material items instead of money, but that isn’t the best idea. The Center for International Disaster Information encourages donars to send money becuase it’s the most efficient way of providing relief. This may not seem like it would make much sense, but it actually does. Monetary donations don’t have any additional costs or fees and the organizations are focused on providing aid by purchasing supplies from local markets– which stimlates the economy. That being said, here are five great diaster relief organzations that will directly provide aid to Haitians:
Americares is providing medical care to Haiti with its initial shipment of medicine to the “Hope for Haiti” clinic in Les Cayes. This community was one of the most devasted areas that Hurricane Matthew hit. This organization plans to ship fluids to treat cholera and supplies to treat hurricane-related injuries. Americares plan to donate at least $1.6 million in relief to Haiti.
CARE International is a humanitarian organization that fights poverty worldwide. In the case of Hurricane Matthew it’s supplying clean drinking water, food and meals for those who were displaced and emergency supplies, including tarps, blankets and hygiene kits, for Haitians affected by the storm.
Oxfam America combats poverty, hunger and injustice globally. In Haiti, this organization is handing out hygiene kits, water purification tablets and construction materials to rebuild houses and buildings.
You may have seen them on a trick-or-treating box but UNICEF does so much more than collect money. As a UN program, the United Children’s Fund provides aid to children globally. In the wake of the hurricane, UNICEF is setting up temperorary classrooms, providing school supplies including books and furniture, rebuilding schools and offering counseling to children in Haiti.
Save the Children is exactly what it sounds like: an organization that supports children internationally by providing them with aid and promoting their rights. Due to the hurricane, thousands of children are out of school. Save the Children is prividing them with play spaces as well as other materials such as baby items.
These five organizations are wonderful ways to relieve the damage and distress from Hurricane Matthew in Haiti. Whether it be halting a cholera outbreak or offering children a fun space to play while their families deal with the aftermath of the storm, Haiti needs our help. There are several other organizations to become involved in as well.
Remember collegiates, we must all work together in the wake of this hurricane!
All photos courtesy of the organizations’ websites.