Since January this year, CityCare has sent teams to help the Haitians in Carrefour. The next phase of aid is to raise funds and help rebuild the town.
Contributed By Wayne Chan
|A formal letter of appreciation to CityCare from Mayor of Carrefour|
The most recent reports about Haiti say that Port-Au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, still needs much help. Widespread hunger is a key concern; social problems like child prostitution have reared their ugly heads. These can only be brought under control if basic needs are met. The temporary housing, namely tents, are mostly built on slopes due to the unevenness of the ground post-quake. A flash flood last week destroyed one such housing site. Aid groups are rushing to stabilize living conditions for 200,000 displaced Haitians.
Aid to Haiti must continue and does. Most recently, the British government and public donated GBP121 million and pledged long-term aid.
For CityCare, the non-profit organization that sent six aid teams between January and March to help administer medical aid and bring supplies, the town it chose to help appears to be ahead of the curve in its recovery.
Carrefour is a poor area in the Port-Au-Prince metropolitan area, and has an estimated population of about 400,000.
Working with a local church there, the Church of Light, CityCare saw a total of 7,943 patients in Carrefour. The organization’s teams comprised doctors, nurses, other medical personnel and volunteer workers. A total of 12 doctors volunteered their time to join the Haitian relief trips.
Kenneth Sim, 40, CityCare’s field director, explained that though the Singapore teams have returned, the makeshift clinic set up by them remains to serve the people of Carrefour.
“Our clinic saved many lives and treated many of the casualties and the sick in Carrefour. The Mayor was very grateful and thanked us. After our last team left on March 6, we handed our operations over to two American medical teams who are still running the clinic today.”
To date, CityCare has spent S$374,438 on medical supplies, four-man tents, water filters, solar lamps, cards and balloons for the children, among other items, for the people in Carrefour.
For the tireless support the organization had shown Carrefour, the town’s Mayor wrote an official letter of thanks to CityCare. Sim also noted that their partners in Carrefour, the Church of Light has seen more than 300 new people join the church.
Sim also told City New that now that things are beginning to stabilize in the town, the organization’s plan to set up an orphanage is underway.
“Our counterpart is securing the land by the end of March,” he said. “They can begin construction in May. The challenge we face is mainly a matter of funds, because the cost of building has gone up now that it is mandatory that buildings constructed must be able to withstand earthquakes up to a certain magnitude.”
When completed, the orphanage will house 100 orphans.
Although Carrefour is seeing progress, Sim noted, “There is a lot more to be done in and for Haiti. In Singapore, CityCare is working with Flyer Entertainment to hold a fund-raising concert this June to help to build homes for the displaced Haitians.”
Haiti is but one of CityCare’s many beneficiaries. In Sri Lanka, a “widow center” will be completed in early April. In China, CityCare is currently building schools in Sichuan and Yunnan, plus student dormitories in Guizhou and Inner Mongolia.