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Christian Aid Week 2018

Published: 14th March 2018

ThisChristian Aid Week, we are inviting people to come together to support thethousands of people in Haiti, who regularly experience some of the worstnatural disasters on earth.

Today, morethan 40 million people across the globe are forced from their homes, and yetremain within their own country. They outnumber refugees, people who fleeacross an international border, two to one.

In countrieslike Haiti, where repeated natural disasters have resulted in thousands ofpeople being forced to flee their homes, often not able to return for years.

People like Vilia.

Vilia wasleft homeless by the earthquake in 2010.As she walked the streets following the disaster, she no longerrecognised her home or neighbourhood, and was surrounded by falling wires andcrumbling houses.Devastatingly, shenever found her mother.

Bereaved andhomeless, for Vilia, her husband and their seven children, life became astruggle.She didnt even have a safeplace to sleep.

Vilia is notalone. Eight years after the devastating earthquake that hit the Haitiancapital, Port-au-Prince, an estimated 38,000 people are still displaced. Despite the resilience and strength of its inhabitants, the country hasstruggled to recover as they continue to face relentless earthquakes, stormsand hurricanes, with many people living in precarious houses or in temporaryshelter.

HurricaneMatthew, in November 2016, wreaked further havoc across the south of thecountry, destroying up to 90% of some areas. Haiti narrowly escapeddisaster when Hurricane Irma swept across the Caribbean in 2017, and its onlya matter of time before the next hurricane strikes. Each time a crisishits, people lose their dwellings and livelihoods, making it increasingly hardfor them to rebuild.

Our localpartner, KORAL, helps local people prepare for disasters.In the aftermath of the earthquake, theyreached out to Vilia and built her and her family a new home, that was safe,stable and strong enough to stand up to natural disasters.

Ahead ofHurricane Matthew KORAL were able to warn local communities, helping evacuatearound 5,000 families and saving many lives. In the immediate aftermathChristian Aid and KORAL distributed urgently-needed shelter kits, hygiene kits,food seeds and cash transfers. We also build disaster-resistant homes to givepeople safe, secure places to live. Of the dozens of new houses we built beforethe hurricane hit, only one lost its roof in the disaster.

And Viliashome was able to shelter 54 people over several days.

Yet, we havemore houses to build for families, like Vilias, to provide them with a safeplace to weather the next disaster.

Just 25could buy a hygiene kit to prevent disease after a disaster; 5 could buy a jarof seeds so someone like Marcelin can grow beans to feed his family; and 210could pay to train a local builder in Haiti to build a safe, secure home forfamilies in need.

ThisChristian Aid Week, you can help to change the lives of people forced to loseor leave their homes due to disasters and conflict by donating online at calling 08080 006 006, or textingGIVE to 70040 to give 5.

Photo: Christian Aid / Matt Gonzalez-Noda

Why not host a Big Brekkie for Christian Aid Week this year. 

Page last updated: Wednesday 14th March 2018 2:33 PM
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