Humanitarian Relief Services in Haiti

The SSIO began providing disaster relief after Hurricane Matthew ravaged the eastern peninsula of Haiti on 4th October 2016, home to about 1.4 million people, mostly farmers. Efforts began with a helicopter reconnaissance mission to the remote town of Jeremie, one of the farthest and most impacted areas, to assess local needs. Under normal conditions, the journey takes 12 hours by land from the capital city, Port-au-Prince. Based on this needs assessment, the SSIO distributed uncooked food supplies, filters for water purification, and seeds for the farmers, to help restore normalcy. Upon learning of the situation, SSIO volunteers from Trinidad & Tobago made haste to ship three large containers by sea to Haiti, filled with 3,000 boxes of supplies, with each box containing rice, beans, mixed vegetables, spaghetti, toothpaste, and toothbrushes. These humanitarian relief operations were coordinated from “Sai Home,” which has served as headquarters for previous disaster relief efforts in Haiti, dating back to the devastating earthquake of 2010. The Haitian government waived customs dues in view of the noble and altruistic intent of the SSIO. On 30th March 2017, with help from the local police, SSIO volunteers used two trucks to distribute food to the town of Duchity in the hills above Jeremie. Sathya Sai volunteers also distributed food to about 50 children in the ABC of Life School in the Delmas area of Port-au-Prince, and to 200 children in the Ecole Mixte de la Nouvelle Jerusalem School, in the Torcelle neighbourhood of Port-au-Prince. The SSIO has supported both these schools, where Sathya Sai Education in Human Values has been taught since 2011. On 2nd April 2017, Sathya Sai volunteers also distributed 2,000 boxes of food in the hilly area near Jeremie. Each box also contained a picture of Sathya Sai Baba.

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