Healing in the Aftermath of Tragedy
Haiti’s social needs are well documented. They are vast, complex and pervasive, impacting in one way or another virtually every life within that country. The natural disasters the country has suffered – the 2010 earthquake, and now Hurricane Matthew – have compounded these ills while undercutting the already fragile social infrastructure. The result has been physical devastation, mass displacement, loss of livelihoods, and disruption of family life. The potential for this widespread trauma translating into long term anxiety and despair, with commensurate negative social reactions, is immense.
What CMBM is Doing
CMBM began its work in Haiti in response to the devastating January 2010 earthquake. CMBM built a series of partnerships and relationships with Haitian leadership including the Haitian Red Cross, the Haitian Medical Association, the Ministry of Health, and the University Medical School, as well as with Partners in Health and the Catholic, Protestant and Voudoun communities.
These relationships, which cut across all sectors, have enabled CMBM to integrate its work into the mainstream of Haitian medical, educational and social services. More than 240 health professionals, educators, religious leaders and community organizers have been trained in the CMBM model, and more than 120 organizations – nonprofit services, schools, hospitals, clinics, juvenile detention centers, religious centers, and community groups – have included the CMBM model in the services they offer. More than 25,000 children and adults have learned to use CMBM’s model of self-care and group support to mitigate their stress.
CMBM’s response to Hurricane Matthew began in mid-November. CMBM’s Haiti Country Director, Ms. Linda Metayer, traveled to the Department of Nippes in the south, where more than 80% of the houses had been destroyed and their inhabitants displaced. Over two days CMBM staff under Ms. Metayer’s direction conducted workshops for 1433 children across three schools in the towns of Miragoane and Petite Riviere de Nippes. But as Ms. Metayer states, “It is just a start.”
“The beauty of this work is that it allows people to rebuild from the inside and it gives them a sense of hope. It sounds so little, but it’s everything – it’s huge – a sense of hope.”
Regine Laroche, Port-au-Prince
How You Can Help
While the basic survival necessities of food, water, clothing and shelter are being secured, CMBM wants to provide immediate psychosocial support for 5000 of the most vulnerable children and adults as they struggle to cope with their disrupted lives. We will offer as many as 100 workshops for 50 children each through public and private schools in the hardest-hit areas in the south – Jacmel, Jeremie, and Les Cayes, as well as in the tiny communities which have been completely devastated and destroyed.
CMBM workshops will be the first step in building community resiliency. CMBM hopes to follow up these workshops with ongoing small groups for 300-500 of the children and young people who are most traumatized and vulnerable, including those who have lost parents and siblings as well as their homes. These small groups, meeting for two hours three times a week for 3-6 weeks, will provide the ongoing support that we know is crucial to children who have suffered terrible losses.
The impact of this work for the children of Haiti cannot be overstated. Your support can make all the difference.
The Impact of Your Support
A small gift can make an enormous positive impact:
|$ 25||Support a self-care workshop for Haitian students in the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Matthew.|
|$ 100||Sponsor a traumatized student in an area devastated by Hurricane Matthew to attend a 10-week Mind-Body Skills Group.|
|$ 250||Support a full Mind-Body Skills Group of 10 students coming together weekly to support one another’s journey and to address their stress and trauma.|
|$ 1,000||Sponsor workshops in mind-body skills for an entire school in an area hardest hit by Hurricane Matthew.|