This Christian Aid Week, we are inviting people to come together to support the thousands of people in Haiti, who regularly experience some of the worst natural disasters on earth.
Today, more than 40 million people across the globe are forced from their homes, and yet remain within their own country. They outnumber refugees two to one.
In countries like Haiti, where repeated natural disasters have resulted in thousands of people being forced to flee their homes, they are often not able to return for years.
People like Vilia, who was left homeless by the earthquake in 2010. Following the disaster, she no longer recognised her home or neighbourhood, among the crumbling houses. Devastatingly, she never found her mother.
Bereaved and homeless, Vilia, her husband and seven children, found life a struggle. They didn’t even have a safe place to sleep.
Even now, eight years after the devastating earthquake that hit the capital, Port-au-Prince, an estimated 38,000 people are still displaced.
Hurricane Matthew, in November 2016, wrought further havoc across the south of the country, destroying up to 90% of some areas. Each time a crisis hits, people lose their dwellings and livelihoods, making it increasingly hard for them to rebuild.
Our local partner, KORAL, helps local people prepare for disasters. In the aftermath of the earthquake, they reached out to Vilia and built her family and many others a new home, safe, stable and strong enough to withstand natural disasters.
Ahead of Hurricane Matthew, KORAL warned local communities, helping evacuate around 5,000 families and saving many lives. In the immediate aftermath Christian Aid and KORAL distributed urgently-needed shelter kits, hygiene kits, food seeds and cash transfers.
£25 could buy a hygiene kit to prevent disease after a disaster; £5 could buy a jar of seeds for growing beans to feed a family; and £210 could pay to train a local builder in Haiti to build a safe, secure home for families.
This Christian Aid Week, you can help to change the lives of people forced to lose or leave their homes due to disasters and conflict, by donating online at www.caweek.org calling 08080 006 006, or texting ‘GIVE’ to 70040 to give £5, or preferably returning a Christian Aid envelope which you will receive in church.
(Don’t forget to Gift Aid it if you can!)
And you can watch a video of Vilia’s story by going to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KuCEPMnxkM