|Pupils from St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Devonport have raised £400 to help the survivors of Haiti’s tragic earthquake.
The children raised the vital funds for Catholic aid agency CAFOD by having a mufti day, saving their pocket money and asking parents and family members to give their spare change to this appeal.
Simon Giarchi CAFOD’s Plymouth based Diocesan manager said: “The action and generosity and compassion of the children from St Joseph’s and from CAFOD’s supporters from across Plymouth to the suffering of the Haitian people has been moving and overwhelming. It has been a wonderful response with people across the South West donating over £85,000 to CAFOD’s appeal – so our heartfelt thanks goes out to everyone.
“CAFOD partners in Haiti are working with some of the most vulnerable people in the worst affected areas. The money raised will go directly to support the life-saving humanitarian relief effort, distributing food, water, tents and medical help. CAFOD has worked in the area since 1970 and is there for the long-haul. The money raised will also allow CAFOD to support its partners with valuable technical assistance, such as planning andlogistics for the longer term recovery. “Haiti in the coming months and years will not only need the bricks and mortar of reconstruction but development of skills and systems which respect the people and value each human life.”
CAFOD is a member of the DEC and is a leading member of the Caritas Federation, which is the second biggest humanitarian network in the world, so it is very well placed to spend the children and parents’ money effectively and support local people in rebuilding their shattered lives
Caritas partners were able to respond within the first 24 hours of the earthquake hitting the capital Port au Prince, with distributions of food, water, blankets and tents. Several days later they were able to reach the severely damaged city of Leogane and distribute more than 11,000 blankets, water purification tablets, tents and tarpaulins.
CAFOD’s sister agencies will plan to work directly in 20 camps, but also distribute aid through its contacts with priests and religious groups working in 32 parishes.
CAFOD’s Head of Humanitarian Matthew Carter said: “We’ve been talking and listening to staff on the
ground who are responding swiftly using their country expertise and church networks to ensure that vital aid gets through to those most in need.
“This money will support the scale up of humanitarian relief efforts, not just in Port au Prince but in areas out side of the capital like Leogane, where 80 per cent of buildings were damaged by the earthquake.”
It is still difficult to verify the numbers killed but the United Nationscurrently estimate from 250,000 to 300,000.