Fire Destroys Community; Hope for Haiti Helps to Rebuild

Jennifer Lang, Director of Program Communications – February 3 2014
In January 2014, Hope for Haiti received an urgent call from our partner.  Sister Flora Blanchette manages the only healthcare facility on Ile a Vache, a small island about 45 minutes by boat from Hope for Haiti’s Les Cayes offices.  An islet near the facility had erupted in a massive fire.

Burned house and trees Burned island.
Burned house and trees. Burned island.

Dr. Steeve Victor, Hope for Haiti’s Medical Director, lead the response.  He headed to the island with 400 Emergency Buckets, equipped with life-saving supplies like food, water purification tablets, and soap for a family of five.  The islet typically houses up to 700 people, primarily fishermen.  However, thankfully the fire occurred when the majority of residents had traveled to the mainland for the Christmas and New Years holidays.

Hope for Haiti staff and Scorched tree.
Hope for Haiti staff and
volunteers check out the situation.
Scorched tree.

When Dr. Steeve landed on the islet, “everything was ashes. I could see the lots where there used to be houses, but there was nothing anymore. The only thing that was still standing was the church because everything else had been built with leaves. Even glass bottles melted from the fire’s heat.” Most of the residents are now living in a coastal town on the mainland, trying to rebuild.

Hope for Haiti is proud of our response on behalf of partners like this.  “When Sister Flora called, she asked for help… any help we could give. Those people lost everything, so what we gave them really means a great deal.”