Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

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Sep 19th
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Home Feature Stories Help Haiti with Love In Haiti, Volunteers Give Out Tarpaulin Ahead of Rainy Season

In Haiti, Volunteers Give Out Tarpaulin Ahead of Rainy Season

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Six weeks after the earthquake which devastated their island, Haitians face a new challenge -- the rainy season. Hundreds of thousands are living in tents and wooden huts in the open which offer little protection against the rain. So, in their fifth distribution of aid, Tzu Chi volunteers gave out tarpaulin waterproof sheets to residents in Port-au-Prince. They also began their second food-for-work relief program and have started to discuss the building of toilets, to ease a serious sanitation problem.

"The rainy season is about to arrive,” said volunteer Zhang Jhiduo. “The Father of the San Alexandro church is worried and hopes that we can quickly deliver tarpaulin into the hands of people who need it, so at least they can have somewhere to take shelter.” On February 14, they held their fifth aid distribution at the church; they gave out 338 tarpaulin sheets, as well as instant rice, corn power and re-useable eating utensils. The church’s Father Arellano said that he was very grateful for the swift delivery of the material, which will enable the residents to improve their tents. “I very much like the ceremony before the distribution, which was a prayer for both giving and receiving,” he said. “The Haitian people have been through one disaster after another. They are ready for anything.” One recipient said that he could not wait to sleep in the sheets: “we did not have anything before. Now, when the rain comes down, you will be able to sleep. So we feel very good.” On February 17, the volunteers returned to the area to see how their gifts were being used. Those with the tarpaulin are the lucky ones. When it rains, everyone else can only use prayer and ask for the rain to stop.

On February 16, they began their second food-for-work relief program at the Croix des Missions church. Under this program, residents receive food in exchange for work to clean up the city. Tens of thousands of people lost their jobs because the places where they worked collapsed in the quake. The volunteers have also started discussions with the mayor of the Tabarre district in the capital about building toilets, to improve the poor sanitation conditions.

 

" We need to overcome difficulties, not be overcome by them. "
Jing-Si Aphorism

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