Post-Hurricane Matthew: February 2017
There is much to smile about, today, for these two Fonkoze Solidarity clients, Clause Picard (left) and Aline Charles. Both victims of Hurricane Matthew’s destruction, the small businesses they had worked so hard to build were all but destroyed. For 3 months, they struggled to rebuild their lives. Today – with the help of Fonkoze Financial Services – they each now have the support they need to build a new life.
DID YOU KNOW? To help our clients re-launch their economic activities and recover more rapidly post-Hurricane Matthew, Fonkoze Financial Services has rescheduled 4,169 loans including disbursing an additional HTG 24.9 million to help clients restock their businesses. Learn more about our Financial Services here.
U.S. Embassy Message: November 4, 2016
Please read the following U.S. Embassy (Haiti) message to citizens traveling to Haiti’s southern peninsula. The damage done by Hurricane Matthew is very real and the people affected need our help now. YOU can help them recover by supporting our on-the-ground response efforts today: give.fonkoze.org
U.S. Embassy, Port-au-Prince, Haïti (November 4, 2016):
“This is an update to the Travel Warning posted on October 7, 2016, warning United States citizens about the dangers of travel to areas in the south of Haiti following the October 2016 passage of Hurricane Matthew.
…There is widespread devastation throughout the southern claw with the most affected areas on the western tip of the peninsula. Travelers can expect difficult travel conditions with roads made impassable by landslides, damaged roads, and bridge failures. There is also widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure, including gas stations and cell towers, loss of electricity, and shortages of food and potable water. U.S. citizens who choose to travel to the southern claw in spite of these risks should carry sufficient water, food, fuel, and medicine to last longer than their anticipated stay…”
Situation Report Update: October 28, 2016
For those who have been affected by Hurricane Matthew, our ongoing support of their recovery and efforts to rebuild their lives is crucial. Below is an abbreviated list of the steps we have taken to date and status updates. To read the full report, please click here. To GIVE to our recovery efforts, please click here.
- All of Fonkoze’s staff are accounted for, though many lost their homes and all their property.
- Assessment teams report that some areas are “completely unrecognizable.”
- All Fonkoze branch offices have been open since Monday, October 10, although not all of them are fully operational. The roofs of two branches were destroyed and several branches were flooded.
- Field staff will visit and interview all affected clients in their Credit Centers (territories) and assess damage to their businesses/livelihoods using the Post-Hurricane Client Assessment tools created.
- Nurses in Fonkoze’s Boutik Sante (Community Health Store) Program launched an intensive cholera awareness and prevention campaign on October 17. Participants are receiving a 90-day supply of water purification tablets to distribute to each client in their centers, reaching nearly 25,000 households.
- Fonkoze’s Chemen Lavi Miyò (CLM) Program for the ultrapoor is finalizing its assessment of CLM households. Thus far, it is clear that those located at high elevations suffered the most damage.
- As part of Fonkoze’s long-term response, we will continue to provide community-based education like that offered by our Ti Koze course; one of the key sessions of the course is disaster preparedness.
Rebuilding After Hurricane: October 26, 2016
Hurricane Matthew destroyed everything: her home and busineses; her garden; and her livestock. Now, in the wake of the storm, Marie-Julienne Laine says that she and her three children sleep anywhere they can find in their community outside of Okay. It has been raining for three straight days, and new floods are threatening her region again—less than three weeks after Matthew left Haiti.
It all would be more bearable if her husband could carry this burden with her, but he was killed in a car accident six year ago, shortly after the 2010 earthquake. At the time, Marie-Julienne’s children were 4, 11, and 14 years old, and she knew that their lives depended on her ability to move forward in the face of tragedy. And so, she turned to Fonkoze. “After the death of my husband,” she says, “Fonkoze became my only partner.”
She and other Community Health Entrepreneurs met with Fonkoze nurses at the Okay branch office to launch the Cholera Awareness and Prevention Campaign. She says, “Those of us who could make it to the branch this morning are all eager to restart our businesses; we don’t want to sit down—not for a second. But we need any help that we can get to rebuild and continue moving forward with our lives.” To read Marie-Julienne’s full story, click here.
YOU can help. Give Today: give.fonkoze.org.
Steady Rain Hampers Progress: October 21, 2016
LIVE FROM THE FIELD: Constant rain threatens to unravel the progress made so far in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. From Aken to Okoto, it has been raining nonstop since yesterday morning and is predicted to continue through tomorrow. River waters are rising once again and people with homes near these waters are being flooded. Many of those who have been left homeless are now struggling to cook their food, due to the lack of dry charcoal.
Fonkoze’s branch in Okay, Haiti, has also been flooded, and is unable to operate.
With your support, we are letting the people of Haiti know that we will not give up. Please do what you can to help rebuild Haiti and give today:give.fonkoze.org.
Hurricane Matthew Update: October 20, 2016
LIVE FROM THE FIELD:Pictured (right): Fonkoze staff are guided by local residents as they try to get their vehicle across a flooded road to reach members located in Okay, Haiti – one of the areas hit hardest by #HurricaneMatthew.
Constant rain, flooded roads and debris are making it difficult to get there. We ask that you keep our staff and the people we serve in your thoughts and prayers during this recovery process.
Please support our Hurricane Matthew response efforts and GIVE TODAY: give.fonkoze.org.
Hurricane Matthew Update: October 18, 2016
To prevent cholera and other waterborne diseases, the Fonkoze Foundation launched its Cholera Awareness and Prevention Campaign this week, in the most affected regions of the country, through our Boutik Sante (Community Health Store) Program.
As part of the initiative, nurses will train 18 center chiefs (community leaders) in a “train the trainer” workshop. There, they will learn how to prepare oral rehydration solution, build low cost latrines, and receive a 90 supply of water purification tablets for distribution in their communities. An estimated 25,000 families will benefit. These kinds of programs & initiatives are made possible by the ongoing support we receive from YOU: give.fonkoze.org
Hurricane Matthew Update: October 17, 2016
Today is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. For all of us here at Fonkoze, this is our mission EVERY DAY of the year. When a disaster like Hurricane Matthew strikes, our life changing work becomes even more critical for the people we serve.
Join us in observing this day by showing the poorest women and families in Haiti that we are here for them. Please GIVE TODAY: give.fonkoze.org
Hurricane Matthew Update: October 14, 2016
Fonkoze is seeking grant makers interested in helping Haiti’s long-term recovery effort by partnering with us as we launch our response to cholera; rebuild our branch offices; provide support to small businesses; address immediate needs of the ultrapoor; and enable our borrowers to get back on their feet. Please click here for details.
Hurricane Matthew Update: October 13, 2016
The town of Okoto, Haiti, was one of the hardest hit areas – just 12 miles from where the eye of the hurricane made landfall.
Entire blocks were swept out to sea, crippling the town to an unrecognizable state. Despite the difficulty to reach the town, the team from Fonkoze’s headquarters was determined to make sure the local staff was alright. Moving stray branches and debris out of their way, they were finally able make it to Okoto and see firsthand the disaster left behind by Hurricane Matthew.
One shell-shocked employee who had lost his home and all of his belongings was left with nothing but the T-shirt on his back, and the underwear he had gone to bed in on Monday night. He later found a lone sandal on the beach and wore that with a pair of borrowed pants to attend a staff meeting on Saturday morning.
Despite these harrowing experiences, all of the Okoto staff members were back in the office – less than a week after the storm – ready to help their community access the funds they need to survive.
Thousands of people have been devastatingly affected by this disaster. The road to their recovery will be long and difficult – for weeks, months and years to come. We ask that you act now, and support our efforts to help them rebuild their lives. PLEASE GIVE TODAY: give.fonkoze.org
Dear Friends of Fonkoze:
Thank you to those of you who have supported our response to Hurricane Matthew. We are grateful for your continued care. Here is our latest update from the field:
- One of the most critical needs of our clients is to have access to their savings and to be able to receive money transfers from family and friends overseas.
- For this reason, our top priority is to resume services in all of our locations, regardless of how devastated that region may be.
- As of yesterday, all of our branches became fully operational, though significant challenges remain. In addition to the physical damage, eight of our 45 branches do not have the internet access needed to transfer money.
- When internet services are not available, Fonkoze staff rely on telephone communication with a neighboring branch to process financial transactions.
- It is reported that in Bomon, staff members climb a nearby hill to get the reception they need to complete each transaction.
We are so grateful to our dedicated staff of more than 950 men and women who are willing to serve others, despite the need in their own lives.
PLEASE GIVE WHAT YOU CAN to help us serve the people of Haiti as they rebuild their lives: give.fonkoze.org
Hurricane Matthew Update: October 11, 2016
Access to clean water has become scarce in the areas hit hardest by Hurricane Matthew, including the Fonkoze service areas of Aken, Okay, Ti Rivye Nip, Bomon and Jerminie, Haiti. Health officials predict dire consequences due to cholera outbreaks, and see preventive measures as being one of the most important initiatives in the wake of this hurricane.
Fonkoze is gearing up to prevent the spread of cholera by working in partnership with our small vendors who are participating in the Boutik Sante program: a social enterprise that brings health care products and services to rural Haiti. Soon we will be training all center chiefs in the affected areas on how to combat cholera by teaching others how to effectively build low-cost latrines and through the distribution of water purification tablets and rehydration salts.
We hope that you will stand with us as we stand with the people of Haiti in this dire time of need. DONATE TODAY: https://give.fonkoze.org/
Hurricane Matthew Update: October 9, 2016
The following Hurricane Matthew damage assessment figures are derived from the OCHA Haiti Situation Report as of today. OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) is part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies.
- It is estimated that 1,410,907 people are in need humanitarian assistance, representing 12.9% of the population of the country (10.9M).
- It is estimated that 2.1 million people have been affected by Hurricane Matthew.
- A total of 336 people were killed by the hurricane in seven departments from south-east to north-west, according to data available at noon on October 8.
- 19 residential care centers in Les Cayes, totaling 1.112 children (423 girls), 14 out of the 19 centers have suffered damages.
Please help Haiti rebuild and GIVE TODAY: give.fonkoze.org
Hurricane Matthew Update: October 8, 2016:
Thank you for your continued care and support as we assess the damage left by Hurricane Matthew. Here are the latest updates from the field:
- On Thursday, two cars set out from our headquarters in Port au Prince to make the treacherous journey to the South department of Haiti.
- They have reached our office in Jeremi where all staff members are alive but homeless. Despite the condition of their personal lives, staff are working to resume services to our clients by Monday.
- Local staff in the South department were able to reach Aken and Okay by motorcycle and by walking. Both branches have now been able to re-start operations.
- The Assistant Branch manager from Okoto reports that a piece of the town was swept away by the sea. He too has lost his home in the hurricane.
- Our loan officers will be reaching out to the 420 center chiefs from our six most affected branches (Okoto, Okay, Aken, Ti Rivye d’Nip, Bomon and Jeremi) to better understand the impact of Hurricane Matthew particularly on our loan clients. This area represents an estimated 15,000 borrowers and many more with savings accounts.
Throughout the country, Fonkoze clients rely on us to be fully operational to begin the work of recovery.
Hurricane Matthew Update : October 5, 2016
Thank you to our friends and supporters who have expressed your concerns, thoughts and prayers as we endure the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Fonkoze branches, staff, clients and members are located in every corner of Haiti, including the areas that were hit the hardest.
Fonkoze’s senior leadership team in Haiti is meeting daily to assess the damages reported from the field. Communication and travel to these hardest hit areas is difficult as phone lines are down; roads and bridges are impassable; and thousands of people, including families of staff members, are now displaced. We will keep you updated as we learn more. Please read our Letter of Intent here.
As always – through many disasters the past 22 years – Fonkoze has been there for our staff and clients, and Hurricane Matthew will be no exception. We welcome your support in the coming days.