Gonaives Bishop: People of Haiti Are Not Alone

On September 5, Monsignor Yves Marie Péan, bishop of Gonaives, Haiti, sent an urgent appeal. Flooding from four successive storms trapped about 500 people at his residence. Today he writes about the slow rebuilding process in his city.

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The port city of Gonaives suffered severe damage after storms, including Hurricane Ike, dumped several feet of water in the city. Now, after the flooding, residents of Gonaives must dig out from under tons of mud. Photo by Donal Reilly/CRS

My first wish for the people of Haiti is I want them to experience that they are not alone, that they have not been abandoned by providence or by God. God always sends people to help, to accompany them, to show them how God is merciful.

Things are slowly improving in Gonaives, Haiti. After the hurricanes hit in September we initially had 500 people staying at my residence in Gonaives and that number is now down to 250. Schools are reopening. With the help of our partners such as CRS and Caritas we are helping people get back to normal life.

We are going to continue to accompany them with food, water, sanitation, and help rebuild their homes and return to their commerce, and their normal lives. How are we going to do this? We do this by feeding their hope, their families, their neighborhoods and cities.

The way we feed hope is to ask, “how are we going to prevent this situation in the future?” In Gonaives we have the terrible problem of deforestation, when it rains it floods our city. After the storms we had 3-5 meters in our streets and homes. We can change this by protecting our environment, nature, and creation itself. We must train people to become agents of their own development. By teaching people to protect their environment, they protect themselves, on the contrary, when you don’t protect the environment you are not protecting your children, your family, you do not protect yourself.

My wish is for us to cooperate together to act out God’s plan. God wants us to live in a safe environment. Working together we can make a difference.

– Monsignor Yves Marie Péan

Haiti is one of more than 100 countries whose people you help when you partner with CRS in reaching the world’s poorest. The global financial crisis has, of course, hurt everyone. It has made helping more difficult even as it increases the desperation of needy people. If you are at all inclined and able to help, know that what may seem an insignificant amount to you is nothing less than lifesaving. Even a little bit can make a big difference.

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One Response to “Gonaives Bishop: People of Haiti Are Not Alone”

  1. Emmanuel Caceres Says:

    That’s true God wants us to live in Safe enviroments.

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