One of the most recent new Associate Members of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) was hit by Hurricane Sandy as the storm passed over the Caribbean toward the end of last week.
As the hurricane moved on to the US east coast, news was still emerging from Haiti which so far has seen the highest death toll from the storm and where cholera, food shortages and civil unrest threaten to cause further harm.
The Haiti Freethinkers Youth Movement (Mouvement de la Jeunesse pour la Liberte de la Pensee en Haiti, MOJELIPH) have suffered the loss of their office and equipment, and members of the organisation have personally lost homes and property.
Billy Almoza, President of the Haiti Freethinkers Youth Movement, said, “The hurricane did a lot of damage in Sud Department [a region in the South of Haiti]. There were many casualties and much loss. Houses have been destroyed, farms have been destroyed, livestock have been lost in the rivers.
“MOJELIPH members were there to do their duty to Humanism despite their difficult situation they were confronted with. Our office was destroyed during the cyclone, a part of the house is destroyed and material such as benches, desks and written documents were carried away by flood waters.”
A number of MOJELIPH members’ homes were destroyed in the disaster, Almoza said, and “[another MOJELIPH member] is six months pregnant and was struck by a tree, she is currently in hospital.”
President of IHEU, Sonja Eggerickx, said, “We send our sympathies to Haiti Freethinkers and our thoughts are with all those affected by the hurricane in Haiti, the wider Caribbean, and those suffering as Sandy’s course continues in North America.”
Anyone interested in making a sizeable donation through the International Humanist Trust specifically to assist Haiti Freethinkers in getting back on their feet, please contact [email protected] or call +44 207 636 4797 (during office hours GMT). The Haiti Freethinkers Youth Movement (Mouvement de la Jeunesse pour la Liberte de la Pensee en Haiti, MOJELIPH) is a new Associate Member of IHEU.
For broader relief donations, in the US you might donate to International Medical Corps who are active in Haiti among other areas. In the UK and elsewhere you might donate to Global Giving’s Hurricane Sandy relief fund supporting “relief efforts by organizations working in the area, including International Medical Corps in Haiti and Save the Children in the US, to provide emergency assistance to those in need.” Foundation Beyond Belief has a crisis appeal specifically on Sandy for both Caribbean and US needs.