This past October, Category 5 hurricane Matthew struck our brother* country of Haiti, leaving behind death and devastation with incalculable economic loss. Groups of people and communities were cut off due to flooding of rivers and destruction of bridges caused by the meteorological phenomenon, and as well hundreds of churches, houses and schools were left practically unusable.
Responding to their vocation of service and showing that the Charity of Christ urges them, the Caribbean Province of the Daughters of Charity took action and began some interventions in the affected areas, and the provincial visitatrix, Sister Servia Tulia García, D.C. , placed at the order of the diocese of Les Cayes the collaboration of the sisters in the actions to aid the people and families affected.
Because of this, Cardinal Bishop Chibly Langlois, Bishop of Les Cayes and President of the Episcopal Conference of Haiti, indicated to the sisters to launch their specific intervention in Roche a Bateau, which is in the southern part of the country, a place that was strongly affected by the atmospheric phenomenon. There, the Daughters of Charity immediately moved by providing tarps and necessities to the families that had been left homeless and outside. These aids are allowing them to cope temporarily with the situation they are facing.
The sisters have set up a mission community in this area, provisionally located in the parish there, where they provide mobile health care services and in the local medical clinic for the residents of the area. They have also set up a mission to provide basic services in the areas of Nippes and Jérémie, which were so severely hit by the hurricane.
The area of Roche a Bateau has a children’s school that is run by the indigenous Congregation of the Daughters of Saint Mary the Queen (Filles de Sainte Marie Reine), and the passing hurricane completely destroyed the roof and part of the structure of this school leaving it useless. Being an indigenous order, these local sisters do not have the resources to revive the school. The Daughters of Charity have joined them in collaboration to help them with the restoration of the place which will be able to reopen its doors for the classes soon.
At the beginning of November, Sister Servia visited this mission area, sharing and collaborating with the sisters and families who live there and joining forces to move on in the face of this natural catastrophe. Let us keep them in our prayers and thus collaborate with this work that shows the true Vincentian Charism converted into action.
*Author Yancarlos de Jesus Carrasco de los Santos is from the Dominican Republic and International President: Vincentian Marian Youth