Direct Aid to People in Haiti

UAF Reaches Jeremie and the Mountain Paths

The United Aid Foundation team of volunteers hit the Haitian dirt running over the weekend.

First heading to Jeremie, the coastal community hardest hit by Hurricane Matthew.

“If you ever want to peak into the gates of hell, the city of Jeremie is the place to begin,” said Mike Wnek, a UAF board member and the leader of our project in Haiti.

“Entire stretches of coastline were obliterated.”

Jeremie, Haiti

Jeremie, Haiti

Wnek and his crew delivered food and water to families in need in Jeremie, but noted there is a lot of international aid pouring into the traditional tourist area. So he and the team headed up into the mountain areas to help those who hadn’t been reached yet.

“So many people had their roofs blown off, losing virtually all of the few possessions they had,” Wnek noticed.

Most Haitians are scrambling to find food and clean water. Many haven’t eaten in nearly a week. Children are suffering. Cholera, due to water contamination is a constant worry.

Hospitals are full of the injured and sick. Many of those killed by Matthew had to be buried quickly in mass graves.

An extended family welcomes aid after losing their home

An extended family welcomes aid after losing their home

Yet despite circumstances that seem bleak, Wnek said the Haitian people are helping each other and doing their best to recover.

UAF volunteer Cenovio Villa delivers food to a woman taking care of 14 family members

UAF volunteer Cenovio Villa delivers food to a woman taking care of 14 family members

 

“Even though the damage was phenomenal, the spirit and resilience of the Haitians is amazing,” Wnek said. They are already cleaning up, opening the small roadside stands, music is playing in some areas.”

 

The UAF team delivered more than 8-thousand pounds of rice, 2-thousand pounds of beans, cooking oil and water. The response was smiles, handshakes, gratitude and prayers.

Mike Wnek with hurricane survivor Ramone Francois, 90-years old.

Mike Wnek with hurricane survivor Ramone Francois, 90-years old.

That’s what keeps volunteers going ¬†as they travel the difficult roads of Haiti.

 

 

Field Update

This was our second trip to Haiti with the mission of building houses. Board Members Mike Wnek and Ryan Alex lead the crew of Cenovio Villa, Christopher Vasquez, Kevin Smith, and Jonathan Schmitz. Unlike the first home building trip in September of 2011 where we shipped SIP panels to Haiti, we bought lumber in Port-au-Prince and constructed the houses entirely out of wood.

goatWe again were building homes for families in Simonet, just outside of Cabaret. We worked three days and had ten Haitians helping us. At the end of three days, the first two houses were complete, with the third house just needing a roof and paint, which was completed by the end of the fourth day. Not bad considering the temperature was 95 degrees with a heat index of 115+!

completehouseThe daughter of a neighbor of UAF President John Alex, Sarah Colvin, raised money in her fourth grade class with the goal of buying goats for families in Haiti. With the money she donated to UAF, we bought seven goats – six females and a male. We gave them to the families we built the houses for so they can have milk and begin to raise goats to sell/eat.

All in all, we built six houses for widows and children of the earthquake, gave each family a goat, provided jobs and construction training for locals in the community, and continued the mission of United Aid Foundation: providing direct aid to people in crisis.

Field Update

  • Ryan Alex of UAF, Levent Edepli of the Emre Fund, and Mike Wnek of Hope for Haiti Healing returned to Haiti for Memorial Day weekend.

  • The Emre Fund graciously provided soccer balls, hand puppets, coloring books, and crayons for the children at all of our stops.

  • Our main focus was on the tent city in Ganthier. To date we have now provided a constant supply of food, water, shelter, lights, and working latrines. We spent a day repairing all the tents that have been destroyed by the harsh conditions and in the anticipation of an unforgiving rainy season. We also distributed food and drinks high in vitamins and protein. The current census shows 370 families living inside.

  • They also visited Camp Hope, the destination for all the amputees from the Love A Child field hospital. They distributed food, water, medical supplies, and toys. They also assessed the needs of the camp going forward.

  • Finally, they made another stop in Delmas and provided tents to the people living there.

  • We are approaching the 6 month mark from when the earthquake struck and life is still as difficult if not worse for most. The exit of many organizations, forecasts of an extreme hurricane season, and the lack of post surgical care will undoubtedly lead to more death, disease and despair. The United Aid Foundation remains committed to those in desperate need in Haiti.

Field Update

enfamil doantion

Mead Johnson has donated 1,500 cases of Enfamil Powder to UAF in support of our efforts in Haiti. We estimate that this donation will supply the babies in the communities we are supporting for 3-6 months. Our deepest thanks to Mead Johnson and Susan Wedeking for the fantastic effort!

Ryan Alex will be returning to Haiti over Memorial Day Weekend with Mike Wnek of HopeForHaitiHealing and Levent Edepli of the Emre Fund. Levent and his wife Kirsten have donated sports equipment, toys, coloring books and crayons to the children to our camps at Love A Child orphanage and Ganthier. In addition, the team will be delivering 800 solar lamps made by ToughStuff to the camps for families living in the dark since the earthquake.