Posts Tagged ‘Haiti’

Thanksgiving’s Heart of Gratitude

Friday, October 28th, 2016

Dear Friend,

In Roche a Bateau, Haiti, where few homes remain standing after Hurricane Matthew, a woman receives food, cooking supplies and a hygiene kit from CRS. Photo by Marie Arago for CRS

In Roche a Bateau, Haiti, where few homes remain standing after Hurricane Matthew, a woman receives food, cooking supplies and a hygiene kit from CRS. Photo by Marie Arago for CRS

As I write this month, thinking about how we will gather as families across our bountiful land to give thanks for all that we have received, my desk and inbox are filled with reports about the hundreds of thousands suffering from the effects of Hurricane Matthew.

When this powerful storm ripped through Haiti’s southwest corner, it devastated a peninsula of fertile land, and many homes could not withstand the winds and storm surge. It was after a similarly destructive storm in 1954, Hurricane Hazel, that Catholic Relief Services first went into Haiti. We have been there ever since, working with the poor through our Church.

And we are there now, in your name, in solidarity with the Haitian people, just as we were in 2010 after an earthquake devastated the capital, Port-au-Prince. The recovery from Hurricane Matthew is just beginning.


In Southern Haiti: Women Entrepreneurs Fight Hunger

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Through the USAID-funded Multi-year Assistance Program, CRS takes a comprehensive approach to reducing hunger in Haiti through education, health and agriculture projects. As part of this programming, CRS supports integrated agricultural development and food security projects targeting smallholder farmers. Through agriculture programs, farmers become better business people by learning the value of each step in the supply chain, from farm to market, and building linkages in the supply chain to support the production and marketing of their products.

Cassava is a high energy carbohydrate, making it an important food security crop in Haiti. Particularly when bad weather and poor harvests cause shortages of basic grains, cassava plays an important role in the Haitian diet. CRS provides farmers training on good farming practices through the use of demonstration plots and access to higher yielding varieties of cassava to improve production. With farmers achieving higher yields, CRS has trained a local women’s group to develop a business selling cassava bread as a way to generate additional income for their families.

Haiti: CRS Watersheds for Well-Being: Reducing Water-related Risks

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Water is critical for the well-being of Haitian families: for domestic use, such as drinking, bathing, cooking, and ensuring good health; and for productive use, such as irrigating crops and feeding livestock. Every 3-4 years, Southern Haiti is faced with flooding, hurricanes, or other disasters linked to water and water management, which can causes loss of life, destruction of food and agriculture, damage to homes and infrastructure, and increased rates of water-caused disease such as cholera. By planting trees and building other protective measures on Haiti’s hillsides, communities can slow the flow of water during flood events, and thus protect their lives and livelihoods, their homes, their agriculture, and their important water points. Through good water management, including sanitation and hygiene, families can also increase their access to clean water.

CRS’ “Watersheds for Well-Being” (“Bassins versants pour le Bien-Etre,” or B4B) project works with the local government and community organizations to identify and protect important water points. Through B4B, CRS trains farmers to protect their hillsides and water sources through tree planting and sustainable agriculture. The project provides clean water to communities, and CRS’ local church partner trains communities in water management, hygiene and sanitation. B4B’s first year has been a pilot year to establish a successful model for good watershed management. The challenge now is to scale up and improve upon these advances to ensure that communities are able to reduce their risks from water-caused disasters.

Haiti Post Quake: Reviving Coffee

Friday, January 11th, 2013

After addressing the most immediate needs in Port-au-Prince after the January 2010 earthquake, Catholic Relief Services initiated projects to develop rural economic opportunities for small-scale farming families and reduce the pressure to migrate to the already stressed capital in search of a better living.

CRS Continues to Respond to Hurricane Sandy in Cuba, Jamaica and Haiti

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Catholic Relief Services and our partners in the Caribbean continue to help people deal with the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy before it set its sights on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States earlier this week.

You are invited to go here to help with aid to the Caribbean.

In the U.S., our sister organization, Catholic Charities, responds to needs here at home. If you wish to assist in that mission, please visit them here.

As always, thank you for your prayers. You encourage us and those we serve in your name overseas.


Hurricane Sandy caused severe damage to households and infrastructure throughout Haiti, particularly in the southern peninsula. A result of major flooding, initial assessments estimate crop losses of up to 70 percent throughout the southern peninsula, leaving the area at high risk for food shortages. Government officials estimate more than 7,000 hectares of cropland were destroyed and some 15,000 animals killed in just six communes along the south coast.

Haiti Partners Hatch Long-term Business Solution

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012
Tom Price

Haiti imports 90 percent it eggs from the Dominican Republic, but a project in the town of Gros Morne is changing that. The Church of the Resurrection in Burtonsville, Maryland, the local Haitian parish, and CRS joined to fund and construct a hen house that can sell eggs to local entrepreneurs. Now, Enel Poleus will no longer have to take a 2-day round trip to buy eggs for his sandwich stall which supports his young family. Photo by Debbie DeVoe/CRS

By Robyn Fieser

The belief that eggs could help solve at least part of the problem in Gros Morne, a growing community of working class and subsistent farmers in central Haiti, had been incubating for years.

As Father Wilner Donecia, a pastor in Gros Morne, sees it, women shoulder much of the responsibility to feed their families in the struggling economy but have few opportunities for employment.

Meanwhile, everybody loves eggs.

Haiti: 2 Years of Accomplishments

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

In the last 2 years, thanks to your support, Catholic Relief Services has:

  • Built 10,600 transitional shelters
  • Provided 10 million meals to more than 1 million people
  • Organized medical teams that performed more than 1,000 emergency surgeries and conducted 71,000 outpatient consultations
  • Helped workers crush enough rubble to fill almost 1,800 dump trucks
  • Hired more than 12,000 people in temporary cash-for-work programs

See all of the great work your support has made possible in Haiti over the last 2 years.

Singing, Sharing Mark 2 Year Anniversary in Haiti

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Two children standing in front of a CRS-built transitional shelter in Haiti. Your support of Haiti is helping rebuild the country for the next generation. Photo Robin Contino/CRS

Robin Contino joined CRS in 2006 and worked in as the country manager in Nepal. She is a licensed clinical social worker with a background in responding to emergencies and trauma. After the earthquake, Robin was sent to Haiti to offer crisis intervention and support to all of our staff in Haiti. Since then, she has continued to support Haiti from headquarters and continues on as the Haiti advisor supporting CRS’ Haiti country program in all aspects of its work.

Robin sent this first-hand account of what it was like to wake up in Haiti on the 2-year anniversary of the tragic Haiti earthquake:

Its January 12, 2012 and I wake up to the sound of what I think is a mass loudly and passionately coming through the windows from somewhere down the hills from where I am staying in Peggyville. People are singing and sharing together. I can feel the deep compassion and its flowing through the streets.

This is my 8th trip to Haiti since the Earthquake, and every time I come I see change — real and significant change. And its amazing. You’re work and dedication is commendable beyond my words. People are moving and settling back into their neighborhoods, and they are grateful for the support of CRS staff and programs. You have uplifted lives and brought families out of unspeakable despair.

I encourage you to take a moment this day, and everyday, to remember those lost and to renew your commitment to supporting Building Haiti Better hand in hand with Haitians.

You Inspire Me and I am grateful for all that you do!



See how your support has helped Haiti rebuild after the earthquake 2 years ago.

Haiti Storm Threat Over for Now

Friday, August 5th, 2011

Tropical Storm Emily was downgraded to a tropical depression as it slowly moved toward Haiti, leaving behind little damage.

“After decades of work in Haiti, CRS knows hurricane season is a real threat to the Haitian population,” said Luke King, CRS country representative in Haiti. “We were ready for the worst and praying for the best.”

Haiti is especially vulnerable to rainfalls because of extensive deforestation, poor infrastructure and the devastation caused by the January 12, 2010, earthquake in Port-au-Prince, where thousands of people still live in tents and under tarps.

In order to prevent and respond to damage caused by tropical storms, CRS has been taking practical measures, such as building up an emergency response team and advanced delivery of emergency supplies to key locations.

Haiti Braces for Storm, CRS Response Ready

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Tropical Storm Emily is bearing down on Haiti with landfall expected sometime today.

Catholic Relief Services has resources in place to respond to any storm related crisis in this quake-ravaged country where 600,000 people are still living in tents and under tarps.

“The hurricane season poses a major threat to Haiti, one we have been preparing for since the first weeks after the earthquake,” said Luke King, Haiti country representative for CRS. “Historically, we know that Haiti is vulnerable to hurricanes and that even tropical storms or just heavy rain can cause serious damage in areas unaffected by the earthquake as well as in the camps, which are acutely vulnerable.”

Last year, CRS carried out assessments in at-risk camps and neighborhoods, digging drainage channels, sandbagging hills, building walls to decrease runoff, and moving the most vulnerable populations to safer locations.