10 Years After the Earthquake

Youth in Haiti graduate from vocational training
by SalvationArmy.ca

January 12, 2020, marks 10 years since Haiti was devastated by an earthquake, killing more than 230,000 people and injuring 300,000. Since then, The Salvation Army has worked alongside Haitians helping to strengthen and rebuild their communities.

“People were running, crying and screaming,” says Natasha, recalling the horror of that day. “As clouds of dust filled the air, my husband and three children took shelter under a tree and watched our house collapse.”

In 2013, Natasha traded in her ragged tarp and rusty sheet metal for her 24-square-metere, two-room, newly constructed home provided by The Salvation Army.

“How do you start over after losing everything?” Natasha questioned. “You pick yourself up and figure out what you can do to change the situation. The Salvation Army was here for us to do just that.”

The Salvation Army in Canada raised US$7.3 million. A total of $1.5 million helped to provide emergency relief, basic shelter, tents, food, water and medical supplies to more than 25,000 earthquake affected people. The remaining funds have provided long-term assistance that includes:

  • the completion of a five-year integrated support program where 213 permanent houses were built for families who lost their homes; more than 1,200 youth received vocational training and 1,500 families received livelihood support to increase income and enhance well-being;
  • rebuilding The Salvation Army’s medical clinic in Port au Prince, which was damaged by the earthquake, and provides primary health care to vulnerable people including mothers and children.

“The generosity of our supporters ensures that earthquake affected communities can rebuild their lives,” says Lt-Colonel Brenda Murray, Director of World Missions for Canada and Bermuda.  “Together we are helping them reclaim safety, peace and dignity.”

The Salvation Army has worked in Haiti since 1950 and provides social and spiritual support via 48 schools, more than 60 corps (churches) and outposts (church plants), a hospital and dispensary, primary healthcare clinic and nutrition centre, and a children’s home.