The Salesians are currently involved in the distribution of food and health kits, destined for a total of 3,000 needy families. At the same time, they are starting a project for the distribution of plastic roofs and construction materials to create temporary shelters for 400 families. There is also a project to build a school canteen and, currently, 1,500 meals a day are already being distributed to the students of the Salesian Diocesan Center for Arts and Crafts (CDAM) and nearby schools.
The Salesians are also involved in providing psycho-social assistance to families affected by the earthquake, who have lost a loved one or who have been injured.
Finally, for about 700 young people, a project for Vocational and Technical Training has been launched, which will be of short duration and will be used for rapid insertion into the world of work.
The Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, who in Haiti are active in the field of education and vocational training of young Haitians, are also committed to providing aid to the population. Their community of Les Cayes, in the south of the country, has suffered devastating damage. It took 40 seconds, on that August 14, for their lives and that of many Haitians to change again. Sister Marie Mercie Raphael, the Economer of the house in Les Cayes, will always remember this experience. “Outside, among the collapsed buildings, people ran while the injured were pulled out of the rubble,” she says. “The 2010 earthquake was still fresh in our memories. But the Lord saved me.”
“We will have to rebuild,” added Sister Marie. “People immediately came to us in search of drinking water and food. Here, they gathered to sleep in the open, considering the risk of collapse under the aftershocks."
A testimony of the difficult situation in the country also comes from Sister Rose Monique Jolicoeur, outgoing Superior of the community and the school manager of Les Cayes. She says that, despite the risk of collapse, the sisters continue to help those affected by the earthquake. "We don't talk about standing still,” she said. “There is always hope! God's hand has preserved us, because if the earthquake had occurred at 8 in the morning, in full school hours, it would have been even more disastrous.”