Benefits continue for Haiti sponsored members
January 22, 2010
FERRIER, Haiti — The village of Ferrier, the location of CFCA’s only project in Haiti, is experiencing a population increase and stretched resources more than two weeks after a devastating earthquake struck the country.
The local bank in Ferrier is operating, so funds are getting to the project. CFCA has about 800 sponsored members and staff in the area. CFCA will be able to deliver regularly scheduled sponsorship benefits for February.
While the families CFCA serves in Ferrier are safe following the earthquake, it is vital that they receive benefits at a time when local resources are being stretched to assist earthquake survivors moving into the area, said Greta Ryan, CFCA project director for Mexico and the Caribbean.
“It is important that regular benefits are continued so that lives can return to normal as quickly as possible after such a horrible event,” Ryan said. “Normal project activities are very important because the project staff is there reaching out to the families to help heal, accompany and comfort during this very difficult time.”
More than 1,000 people have registered in Ferrier from Port-au-Prince since the Jan. 12 quake, according to CFCA Ferrier Project Coordinator Sister Patricia Downs. Many of the people migrating to the area are staying with relatives.
Ferrier is home to approximately 5,000 people, which makes the increase in population significant. Sister Downs said small quantities of food are coming across the border from the Dominican Republic to help those seeking refuge.
The families and staff in the project are doing OK, but are frightened by aftershocks that can still be felt in the area, Sister Downs said. She said the project is grateful for the CFCA community’s concern and continued prayers.
“These families are survivors,” Ryan said. “They will definitely move on and find a way to overcome this. They’ve already faced and overcome huge obstacles in their lives.”
Ferrier is located in the northeast corner of Haiti near Cap Haitien, more than 80 miles from the capital of Port-au-Prince. The epicenter of the 7.0-magnitude quake was inland, 10 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince.
A month of mourning has been declared across Haiti, and schools will be closed through Feb. 17.
The earthquake and subsequent relief efforts are affecting the mail system in Haiti. Correspondence between sponsored members and their sponsors is being delayed. Because of uncertainty surrounding the mail service to Ferrier, CFCA recommends sponsors do not send mail to their sponsored friends at this time.
Donations received by CFCA designated for Haiti will be directed to the Ferrier project for assistance to sponsored members and their families.