Bearcats for Hurricane Matthew

Article by: Audrey Sy

For the last two weeks, media channels around the world have been flooded with news of Hurricane Matthew. The powerful cyclone has been the first in nearly a decade to be classified a Category Five storm, with heavy rain and winds up to 160 mph.

Hurricane Matthew developed into a tropical storm on September 8, and rapidly intensified as it traveled across the Caribbean Sea, before finally making landfall in Haiti on October 4. It led to more than a thousand deaths in Haiti, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic, and Haiti also sustained more than $1 billion in damages.

According to a BBC article released on October 11, Haiti is now in risk of “real famine” following the “apocalyptic destruction” of Hurricane Matthew, as Haiti’s interim president, Jocelerme Privert, has warned. According to the BBC, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also called for a “massive response” to help the country, appealing to “provide ‘life-saving assistance and protection’ for 750,000 people in southwestern Haiti over the next three months.”

In response to this devastating natural disaster, the ISM community has taken the initiative to send $1000 from the Disaster Relief Fund to the education-based Children of Haiti Project. The Service Learning Council, which oversees the Disaster Relief Fund, has also partnered with this organization in the past, in response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake disaster.

These funds are to be replaced by donations from the ISM student leaders and clubs, including ISSBA, Battle of the Bands, Service Learning Council, ICARE, and the Philippine Cultural Club.

The ISM community has definitely made a substantial impact on other communities’ wellbeing. As stated by Mr. Woods, the Service Learning Council advisor and CAS Activities Director, “Any student can support this cause, not only monetarily with donations to the Disaster Relief and Sustainability Funds, but also through organized service trips.” The Service Learning Council, ISSBA, and ICARE Council are also planning to host a bake sale in the upcoming weeks to raise more funds for Haiti.

As with any natural disaster, great losses were suffered from Hurricane Matthew; however, with the help of the international communities, relief is thankfully never far away.

To learn more about the Children of Haiti Project, visit their site here.