Haiti (MNN) — Haitian police are closing refugee camps and
pushing quake survivors out. This comes
at a time of urgency with the hurricane season approaching.
These evictions began in late March, creating even more urgency for permanent,
sturdy housing, with water, utilities and sewer, where people can stabilize
their lives and rebuild community.
For roughly one of every nine Haitians, they've lost their home for a second
time since the trauma of the January 12 disaster.
The government wants to construct 130,000 "semi-permanent" shelters
and had to clear space for these structures. In some cases, as schools reopened, residents of some of the 79 camps on
school grounds were evicted.
Rick Ragan with Global Aid Network says it's a touchy situation: "How do you get people to disperse back to where they came from
so that we don't congregate them and try to maintain their existence without
any infrastructure in place?"
GAiN USA responded in a way that will help rebuild community. Ragan
says they are in Chambrun, about 20 minutes away from the quake's epicenter in
Port-au-Prince. "What we've created there is a compound that not only
helps tend to orphans and those that are in need by doing food distributions,
but it also becomes a central location for many of the pastors whose churches are in
Ragan notes that he hasn't seen the forcible closures taking place
in the areas they're working in. However, that doesn't lessen the needs that are
overwhelming the ministry.
Basic needs are still unmet in many areas. In fact, during his recent visit, Ragan says
they worked with 90 church pastors and provided them with portable water
filters so they could at least help their congregations have access to clean
Since the earthquake struck Haiti, Global Aid Network has
had trauma counseling, medical and food distribution teams on the ground
responding to the needs and assisting the hurting.
More than food and shelter, Ragan explains, "You have to
demonstrate God's love first so that people know how much you care. What we have
seen is that connecting point where people are saying 'Wow! You really do care
about me!' That opens up the communication lines to hear the wonderful story
of what Jesus did for us."
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