Guilbaud Saint-Cyr, director of Compassion Haiti, has led Compassion through multiple crises in his country, including past hurricanes and the earthquake of 2010. On Monday, before Hurricane Matthew hit, he shared a few thoughts with us about how Compassion Haiti was preparing and how we can be praying.
What are the specific needs Compassion beneficiaries are facing in this crisis?
Because we work with the poorest children in our communities, they are among the most vulnerable in our country, living in tents, near ravines, etc. In times of hurricanes like this, they lack everything. This includes shelter, food, water, dry clothes and hygiene items.
What steps are the staff taking?
We have in place disaster committees, not just at Compassion’s field office, but also at the different clusters where we have church partners. Those churches are monitoring the situation, identifying and educating the parents and children who are at major risk. They are also sending us alerts. Our disaster contingency plan has three phases: 1) education and relocation before the hurricane comes, 2) short-term relief right after the hurricane and 3) evaluation and appropriate response.
How does Compassion’s support help to prepare children and their families to be resilient in situations like this?
All of Compassion’s church partners have been trained on crisis and disaster. They also have committees in place with contextualized disaster plans. Our child curriculum has modules on disaster preparedness. The leadership at the church level and Compassion’s field-based Partnership Facilitators know, in advance, what to do while maintaining close contact with us at the main office for further instructions and interventions.
How can sponsors and donors pray for Haiti and the Dominican Republic?
- Pray that God, who has control over the hurricane, slows it down, minimizes its threats, and keeps the nation safe.
- Pray for enough provision for the eventual victims and affected people.
- Pray for the Haitian government and authorities to make the right decisions in favour of the people who might be affected.
- Pray for the protection and health of Compassion staff members and church-partner staff members so they can be strong and come alongside children registered in Compassion’s program and their families.
- Pray for the generosity of our dear sponsors and donors so that we can receive enough funds to intervene for the children and families who might be affected.
- Pray for the election that is supposed to happen this coming Sunday, which will be critical for the country’s stability.