HOUGHTON -- Haiti, a small and impoverished country of the Caribbean, the poorest of the western hemisphere, has been recently hit by several hurricanes, which have added a huge burden to the daily struggle of the Haitian people.
Homes have been destroyed, crops devastated and animals carried away by the flood waters. Access to the flooded areas remains difficult, and a complete account of the losses and destruction is yet to be made. As of last week, official accounts referred to a total number of 255 dead, 39 missing and 135 injured; 51,359 families are affected; and 7,358 houses have been destroyed. Still, many fear that the final account could be much higher as the dead bodies are uncovered from the receding waters.*
In Gonaives, one of the hardest hit cities, people had to climb up on their rooftops to escape the floodwaters. Many parts of the city are still covered with water and mud. There is no drinking water, electricity or food supply. Three days after the last storm, people were still walking through muddy water with dirty faces and clothes. This is a humanitarian disaster that Haiti will not be able to face alone. We need international assistance from our friends and partners.
At Michigan Tech University, students are doing their part to help. The NOSOTROS student group and the Haitian students at MTU have been raising funds for the flood victims in Haiti. They will be accepting donations from noon to 2 p.m. through Wednesday, Sept. 17, in the Memorial Union Building (MUB) on campus. The money collected will be sent to the Red Cross in Haiti. Online donations can also be made using the Wells Fargo account named: NOSOTROS Haitian Flood Victims Fund. The account number is: 726 728 7881. Please email the managers of this account, Jessie Vital, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Ezequiel Medici, email@example.com, for details on how to deposit a donation through Wells Fargo.
If you can, please stop by the MUB table to gather more information, get a more complete picture of the devastation and see how you can volunteer or get involved.**
* See the Sept. 8 article "In rain-soaked Haiti, no identifying the dead" on msnbc.com.
** Click here for photos of the situation in Haiti.
Many other charity organizations are accepting donations, including the following:
Hope for Haiti:
Haitian Health Foundation:
All three of these organizations get four of four stars from Charity Navigator, and Independent Charity Evaluator.
Editor's Note: This article courtesy Jessie Vital and Fredline Ilorme of Haiti, MTU graduate students in forestry, and Ezequiel Medici, MTU graduate student from Argentina, public relations officer and former president of NOSOTROS. For more information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.