On October 14th Sigora Haiti launched an ambitious campaign to help thousands of people whose homes and livelihoods had been devastated by Hurricane Matthew stay dry, stay healthy, and plant a food and cash crop in time for the last harvest of the season. To date, the campaign has raised over $90,000, underscoring the generosity of our partners.
Around 160 individuals made direct donations online via the Go Fund Me page, totaling over $45,000. Sigora Haiti’s sister company, Sigora Solar – a Virginia-based consumer and commercial solar and energy efficiency company – dedicated a portion of its local proceeds to the relief effort. On the ground in Haiti, our distribution partner Hilfswerk Austria International provided financial and in-kind support to help deliver roofing tôle and water purification tablets.
Over the past month we have reached over 1,070 families. That’s 7,350 people who were given a hand when they needed it most.
Over the coming weeks, Sigora and its partners will be returning to the each of the households that received roofing sheets (tole) to provide seeds and agriculture training as part of the ‘Trees for Tôle’ exchange. Rather than giving roofing tôle – which was purchased from a variety of local vendors in Haiti rather than imported from a bulk supplier abroad – away for free, Sigora is entering into a contract of good faith with every family. For each sheet of tôle received from Sigora, a family agrees to plant 10 Moringa trees. The initiative will lead to 200,000 trees being planted. And because there is an economic benefit tied to their successful cultivation – the harvest of the seed pods – farmers are incentivized to protect the trees rather than cut them down for charcoal.
But even though it is more than five weeks since the Hurricane, there is still a very real need for assistance in the hard-to-reach regions of the country. Just ten days ago ‘The Nouvelliste’ newspaper reported that there are still 196 communities that are unreachable by ground transport. And things are about to get worse for vulnerable families. Weather forecasters are warning that a cluster of showers and thunderstorms in the western Caribbean have the potential to become the next named tropical system of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season over the next seven to 10 days, with sustained rain forecast for Haiti.
It is hard to imagine what the prospect of another storm means for families living far away from towns and cities where assistance is being provided, after more than a month without shelter or access to clean water following Hurricane Matthew. It isn’t good.
Therefore we would like to take this opportunity to both extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has donated to this initiative and also ask for your assistance in sharing this initiative as far and wide as possible.
The Go Fund Me page will continue accepting donations until December 5th, after which point we will close out the campaign and use all the funds to reach as many families as possible.
To donate, please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/supportremoteareas
Thank you again for your support.`
Sincerely, the Sigora Team
* This article was updated 21/11/2016. The original stated that 5,350 people received assistance, however given the average family size of 7.3 people the actual number of beneficiaries is 7,300.