The Give Hope advance team (Angela Quinn, Dr Will Caldwell and Roger Braswell) arrived at Cambry on Thursday afternoon and witnessed the damage caused by Hurricane Matthew first hand. We remain stunned by what we witnessed. Dozens of beautiful trees down all across the campus, leaves stripped off the ones that remain standing, most tin roof buildings suffered major damage, debris everywhere, hundreds and hundreds of kids sleeping in the school, the clinic and the tech center.
After assessing and planning for the upcoming week’s work at Cambry on Friday, we traveled to the children’s villages at Darivarger, Cavaillon and Big House on Saturday. The damage at all three villages was extreme and we were very disappointed to conclude that we are in for a long siege of 450+ children at Cambry while those villages are reclaimed and repaired. All dormitory roofs that were constructed of wood framing with metal sheets over top will have to be replaced, along with the church roofs at all three sites. Based on what we witnessed, we will be fortunate if we get all the extra kids at Cambry back into their original villages by year end.
Our full team arrived in four different flights from Port au Prince beginning Saturday afternoon and wrapping up on Sunday just after lunch. We used a six seat Cherokee to allow the team to fly over any potential trouble along the usual vehicle route we take to Les Cayes. After attending church at Cambry (where the metal roof was miraculously spared) we organized all our supplies, which had arrived intact during the night, and began work in the afternoon. The week’s work consists of 5 primary objectives:
- PHYSICALS for all 450 children on site. Our medical team of 2 pediatricians, 2 PAs and a nurse will tackle this daunting task in order to identify all critical issues that our Haitian physician and staff will need to address after we leave and to take advantage of the opportunity to gather valuable data on all these kids while we have them in a single location.
- SANITATION and PEST control to lower the risk of disease going forward. The team brought the necessary equipment and supplies to address ongoing sanitation in latrines and showers as well as to treat standing water and fog for mosquito control. Reviewing and addressing sanitation in all sleeping areas will also be part of the process.
- CLEAN UP of the Cambry campus. The tree and other damage at Cambry is of epic proportion. A number of trees that have fallen on buildings and vehicles represent a very real danger to the children who are oblivious to the hazards. Our team intends to clean up all major damage and train the young Haitian men here to continue and complete that process after our return to the states. The scope of this problem makes this our most challenging priority or the week.
- WATER PURIFICATION solutions both on campus and for the families served by our Community Health Workers (CHWs). We have all the necessary filters and other items to set up a water treatment station at Cambry to supply purified drinking water to all the children here (which is now functioning) and at each of the homes of our CHWs (5 of which were severely damaged by the storm) so that they can treat water for their neighbors.
- LIGHT REPAIRS as time and resources allow. Our team is addressing those roof repairs and other repairs that will allow Cambry students back into the Senior Girls metal roof dormitory and the Vocational Center buildings as early as possible. We are engaging local contractors to tackle the larger roof repairs to the Young Men’s Transitional Home, Medical Clinic, Younger Girls Dormitory and Dining Pavilion. Our team will repair the roofs of the fish tank sheds and secure the Aquaponics site until a future team can get there to make it operational again.
Please continue to pray for the safety and effectiveness of the 19 team members who are engaged in this effort. We appreciate your support more than we can express. The children here also know that their suffering is being alleviated by your gifts and prayers. They are so thankful for you!