Call to donate as Haitians are ‘crying out for help’
Haitians are “crying out for help” from Bermudian charity Feed My Lambs Ministry following the devastating earthquake that shook their country on Saturday.
Phillip Rego, the Bermudian who launched the charity in 2009 to serve the people of Haiti, is planning to send a shipping container full of non-perishable food, shoes and clothes in the coming weeks and is calling on Bermuda to donate.
Mr Rego said that people in the impoverished Caribbean nation are going hungry and stressed that there is a fine line between hunger and starvation.
He told The Royal Gazette: “Hunger is the major problem in Haiti – even before the earthquake many families had to go for two to three days a week with no food.
“There are 700 kids at the school we have in Haiti. We saw kids falling down and they would tell you they hadn’t eaten or had water so we introduced a feeding programmes three times a week. These kids go from trash pile to trash pile – they don’t have anything.
“Now, with the earthquake, it is devastating – you can go from hungry to starving very quickly.
“There are big problems there on the ground – people can not move about freely, it is a struggle. What can you do? People are crying out for help, you have to weather the storm.”
Haiti suffered the 7.2-magnitude quake just before 9.30am local time on August 14. It struck 8km from Petit Trou de Nippes, a town about 150km west of the capital Port-au-Prince.
The earthquake struck during a political crisis while the president Jovenel Moïse was assassinated on July 7.
The Bermuda Red Cross has also launched a fundraising drive to help those impacted by the quake.
Donations can be made by direct deposit to the charity fund into the following account: Bank of NT Butterfield 20-006-060-663859-200 or by visiting the website www.bermudaredcross.com using a debit/credit card.
Alternatively, the charity can be contacted by phone on 236-8253 from Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4pm with card details. Donations can be mailed to: Bermuda Red Cross, Haiti Earthquake Appeal, Charleswood, 9 Berry Hill Road, Paget DV 03.
Mr Rego said he has received hundreds of calls, e-mails and texts from people wanting to help or donate to the cause in Haiti.
He added: “It seems like you get a few steps forward and have to take many more steps back in Haiti. First there was the assassination of the president, there has been Covid and now the earthquake has compounded problems.”
Haiti is also suffering an epidemic of kidnappings fuelled by deepening political unrest and economic hardship, he said.
Mr Rego continued: “I used to have people on the ground to give me confidence to come and inform me to stay out of certain areas but since they started kidnapping it has been really hard. I have gone back here and there, but have not been not been back for a year.
“Funding has also slowed down but the need is still there.
“I thought, let’s do a container as a lot of Bermudians can’t go there but have clothes, shoes, backpacks and food they can donate as they have done in the past.
“What Bermuda has accomplished in Haiti, you can’t find words for that – it’s been a tremendous blessing. Donations will be like a shot in the arm.”
Anyone wishing to donate to the Feed My Lambs Ministry should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or call 536-3613.