We have assessed the damage from the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck southwestern Haiti around 8:29 am on August 14th, followed by numerous aftershocks averaging magnitude 4.0. The devastating effects of the earthquake were felt throughout our zone of service and there were many reports of fatalities, injuries, and significant damage all across the region, with the numbers growing every day.
The perimeter wall at Maison de Naissance collapsed, taking down the power lines from our generator building. Fortunately, the solar power system remained intact and operational, although the nighttime storage batteries were damaged. The foundation of the main building is badly damaged, as shown on the left, and the interior cannot be fully assessed until we can get an engineer’s assessment. This was the first time in history our center was closed.
In the meantime, our staff, who are all miraculously safe, are dealing with the loss of or damage to their homes, while we work restore the Maison de Naissance campus to full operating capacity.
This was much more powerful than the earthquake which hit in 2010, in fact, 3 times more powerful on the Richter scale. Many rural hospitals in the region were heavily damaged if not completely destroyed, and many of the potential referral hospitals for Maison de Naissance are out of commission. Because the earthquake hit in a largely rural region, hours from the capital city and only accessible on small, two lane roads, its impact was even more deadly. The only means of transportation to a surgical facility in most areas is by helicopter. Les Cayes, one of the three major towns in this region, and the closest town to Maison de Naissance, was hit very hard as you can see in this drone video footage: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/haiti/article253523814.html.
Your immediate and generous support of our relief efforts after the August 14th earthquake, allowed us to restore operations at Maison de Naissance within one week of the arrival onsite of Jim Grant, Executive Director, and Dr. Abbey Masonbrink, pediatrician and board member.
Now, Global Birthing Home Foundation has been offered a $100,000 matching gift from former board member Lindsey Patterson to rebuild Maison de Naissance stronger and more resistant to natural disaster damage.
With your help, we can not only repair but reinforce the buildings, power, water and septic systems on our campus, so they will be more resilient during future natural disasters. We can help our staff and surrounding communities heal physically and emotionally, while continuing to deliver the excellent, compassionate care which Maison de Naissance has provided since 2004.
Short term relief plans for the MN staff and community include:
1) Temporary shelter (tarps and tents)
2) Staff and community relief: Meals, plus cooking, hygiene, and cleaning supplies
3) Funeral services for staff family members lost in the earthquake, and mental health counseling as needed
Long term plans include the following ambitious but achievable and much needed relief services:
1) Provide bulk food as needed until families get back on their feet: $15,000
2) Rebuild 20 destroyed homes at US $5,000 each: $100,000
3) Repair 15 damaged homes at $2,000 each, average cost: $30,000 4) Improvements to facilities and programs to enhance resilience during future disasters e.g., more durable power systems (solar and diesel generator); structural improvements to the main clinic building foundation; water and septic system improvements; an additional emergency vehicle; and a rapid response plan for Global Birthing Home Foundation and Maison de Naissance: $45,000-$60,000.
These efforts will be undertaken while strengthening relationships with other nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations specializing in maternal and infant health care and disaster relief services.
If you have already given in response to our relief appeal, you have our sincere appreciation. All we ask is that you would consider passing this appeal on to others you know who have a heart for mothers and infants.
If you can give now, please consider an emergency donation to support our earthquake relief efforts today; click this DONATE NOW button or mail a check to:
Global Birthing Home Foundation
5000 W 134th St. – Leawood, KS – 66209