Post-Hurricane Update #7: 1 WEEK. 2,500 PEOPLE. 5,000 TÔLE.

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One week into Sigora’s campaign to raise $96K to help 10,000 people stay dry, stay healthy, and plant a food and cash crop in time for the last harvest of the season, we’ve raised over $33,000 dollars, reached 2,500 people, and distributed 5,000 sheets of tole.

The scenes from Sigora’s first distributions of tôle – the Haitian term for corrugated metal roofing – provided a welcome counterbalance to the negative stories and images of Haiti dominating the news cycle.


To be clear, the devastation portrayed in the media is very real. When Dr. David Nabarro, a special advisor to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, told The Independent Newspaper on Thursday that “I have been to horrid places an awful lot, but this was exceedingly distressing. The degree to which people really have lost everything, because of the great big sanding machine that just went over everything and scoured the surface of the ground. That is something that is new to me,” he said, describing it as, “at the extreme end of any spectrum that I have ever applied” – he was not wrong.

But amidst the scoured earth and tragedy of those who have lost what little they had, there are instances of renewed hope, humanity, and vision for a better future.

Today a Sigora team of 10 home assessors fanned out across five different communities, each between 50-100 homes, a 45-minute walk from the nearest road access point. Teams of two visited each community, assessed the damage to the houses, recorded names, contact details and GPS coordinates of each home, and handed out tôle coupons that could be redeemed at the “tôle warehouse” – an open space off the main road where Sigora set up shop for the day. In one day alone Sigora distributed 3,700 sheets of tôle.

Since deploying a team to the South early in the week, Sigora has reached 500 families, around 2,500 people, in the most remote areas of the hurricane-hit region. For most, this was the first instance of assistance since Matthew tore through the peninsula. After weeks of watching convoys of aid vehicles snake their way through the hills without stopping. This time they did, thanks to your support.

Stay tuned for more updates.