At 8:30 this morning a 7.2 magnitude earthquake shook Haiti. The epicenter was about 80 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince, severely affecting cities like Les Cayes and Jeremie which are reporting significant damage — comparable to the one caused by the devastating 2010 earthquake. The death toll is expected to be high. So far, reports indicate that Port-au-Prince has not suffered significant damage. We remain hopeful this is true. We also remain aware that the mounting emotional toll of one traumatic experience after another has long lasting effects that will be felt for years to come.
I was able to reach Lavarice Gaudin, Na Rive’s Program Director, this morning and he told me that he and all the members of Na Rive that he’d spoken to so far are safe. He also expressed a deep sense of sadness and mourning for the country as well as personally. Like so many in Haiti and abroad, some of his close friends and family have been tragically killed this morning. And he knows no one in the Ti Plas Kazo community and the country will get through this tragedy unaffected.
“We are in shock that another tragedy has struck Haiti so soon. People are devastated, afraid, overwhelmed, and exhausted. Many of us are reliving the tragic moments after the 2010 earthquake and its aftermath, and many of us are mourning more of our loved ones too. It is also in times like these that we are thankful for our partnership with the What If Foundation because we know we are not alone and we have a way to respond and help ease the suffering. Na Rive stands ready to provide emergency assistance to those most in need, as we did after the 2010 earthquake and other natural disasters.”– Lavarice Gaudin
Given Na Rive’s prior experience with emergency relief in the south, Lavarice has already received dozens of calls from community members in the affected areas seeking support. In the days to come, they will be assessing the needs and will let us know how to best direct our resources and support.
We ask for your help during this difficult time as children and families in Haiti face the aftermath of this devastating earthquake. To support Na Rive with their needs assessment, we are hoping to raise $20,000 in this initial phase of the disaster. Please join us by making a donation today.
I know you are with us as we send our love to all Haitians, at home and abroad, as they anxiously wait to hear from friends and family members. We will keep you abreast of new developments and will stand ready to support Na Rive and the people of Haiti in these dire times.
With gratitude and hope,
What If Foundation